Funerals and Coronavirus (COVID-19)
20th March 2020
Like everywhere else, we are also facing uncertain times with the worries of the coronavirus epidemic affecting the UK. Currently there has been no specific rules from Government yet about how we arrange and conduct funerals going forward. However as a responsible and conscientious company we have been adapting our procedures to safeguard ourselves and all the people we will come into contact with during our work over the coming weeks and possibly month.
Firstly, if you are feeling unwell we would advise you to follow the NHS guidelines, to ensure you do not pose a risks to others at a funeral.
What will not change
We are still open and available to you at your time of need 24/7.
We remain committed to caring for the families and the deceased in our care as best and dignified as possible during this uncertain time.
What we are doing that is different
In line with the latest advice from Public Health England, we are considering a range of infection control options as well as working closely with partners, such as local crematoria, to ensure we comply with their coronavirus procedures.
If we find ourselves in a position of increased risk to health, or at risk of furthering the spread of coronavirus then we may need to make some hard or possibly uncomfortable decisions on how we deliver our services to you.
In order to further protect our community, you may find when you meet our team that they are wearing additional personal protective equipment (PPE) or have been instructed not to shake hands.
Please see below the changes we have made:
- Arranging funerals
- We will be limiting the number of people who enter our premises to keep it clean and clear, therefore all funeral arrangements will take place over the telephone, FaceTime or other similar video conferencing systems e.g. Skype. We will unfortunately not be able to visit families in their homes.
- It is always lovely to see our families in person when organising funerals, however at this time we would ask that you ring us instead with any queries you have. We will be happy in most circumstances to deliver your loved ones ashes for example.
- In the case of Coronavirus related deaths, we may have to arrange a prompt funeral to prevent unnecessary storage and handling of the person who has died.
- Again to limit the risks, we will not be able to bring a person home before a funeral during this time.
- We will also request that we take the coffin into the chapel or venue before all other guests, and no staff member is required to stay in the chapel during the service. We will of course be outside should we be needed.
- The Government has now asked all restaurants, bars and other leisure and sporting clubs to close. Therefore it is going to be impossible to find a venue where you may gather after the funeral has taken place. It may be necessary to arrange a memorial service or thanksgiving ceremony at a later date instead.
- Where possible, we are being encouraged to use live webcasting at our local crematoria, they are restricting funeral services to immediate families only. We will be happy to explain to you how this works and help implement this.
- Our Tesla limousines will not be offered to you at this time in order to protect the health of our drivers, families will therefore need to make their own way to the funeral service.
Before we collect the person who has died and to ensure we are best equipped to safely deal with your circumstance, we may ask you a series of questions related to coronavirus/COVID-19.
3. Signing Paperwork
As we normally do we will help you complete all necessary paperwork relevant to the funeral but signing the paperwork may have to take place remotely either by post, electronically or by dropping papers through letterboxes.
4. Visits to our Chapel of Rest
As mentioned earlier about limiting access to our premises, we will also need to restrict visits to our chapel of rest in order to protect our staff and the families we are looking after.
As an independent business we pride ourselves on our ability to remain flexible at these difficult times and we will continue to work hard in bringing the best service we can for you at these challenging times. We will keep you all updated if anything changes.
Do not hesitate to us if you have any questions about coronavirus/COVID-19 and funerals, by calling us on 01249 713134 or firstname.lastname@example.org