Covid-19 – Arranging a Funeral
15 April 2020 by Jane Golding
The death of someone close to us can be one of the hardest things we ever have to deal with. Grief is never easy but at this particular moment, it may seem just that bit harder as we feel more detached from our family, friends, or usual support networks.
Arranging a funeral or attending a funeral is a very personal and extremely emotional time.
What should you do when arranging or attending a funeral during the current Covid-19 outbreak?
You should not attend a funeral if you are self-isolating or you think you may have Coronavirus, or if you think someone you live with might have it.
As of the 24th March 2020 the current guidelines in the UK state that funerals should continue as normally as possible at a Crematorium or graveside. However, families are being asked to restrict attendance to “close family members” to reduce the risk of spreading to attendees and staff involved in the Ceremony. There should be no more than 10 people in a church or at the graveside, this number may be smaller in small closed spaces and local churches may have other restrictions. It is no longer appropriate to hold a gathering after the Ceremony at any venue, including the family home.
Individual Crematoriums may have their own guidance based on their facilities and this will need to be considered when arranging a funeral. They may also provide online broadcasting, so mourners can watch the service without attending in person. Alternatively, you could ask for the funeral to be recorded so that you can watch it later.
You must consider the wider guidelines in place at the moment, including social distancing, good hand hygiene, and avoiding physical contact. You should be particularly mindful of those in the “at-risk” groups such as those over 70.
How to stop the spread of COVID-19?
There are certain things you should do on the day to avoid the spread of Coronavirus:
- Wait outside in your car until you are asked to enter the building by the celebrant, chapel attendant or funeral director;
- Do not shake hands with anyone, including the Minister, Funeral Director or other mourners;
- Bring your own hand sanitiser or use hygiene products made available the venue;
- Allow the staff to open and close doors to the service to restrict the number of people touching the door handles;
- Numbers in the venue are likely to be limited. Stick to any assigned seating plan and keep your distance from other mourners.
- You may be advised not to touch the coffin as you leave the service.
The Government have published a guide for the Bereaved during Covid-19: A Guide for the Bereaved during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Read further advice in regards to arranging funerals here.