Coronavirus (COVID-19) and funerals
As the Coronavirus pandemic impacts all our lives, we’d like to share the steps we’re taking in managing funeral arrangements to ensure that we safeguard ourselves and all those we come into contact with.
Important: we are asking that if anyone feels unwell or shows signs of having contracted the virus, or is worried that they may pose a risk to others by attending a funeral to please follow the current NHS guidelines.
Brighton and Hove City Council are requesting that only one person (and one translator if required) attends the Register Office to register the death.
To keep up-to-date, we are consulting with other funeral directors and industry experts and are following the latest guidelines by Public Health England.
Specifically, we have implemented the following protocol:
We are limiting face to face meetings and, where possible, we encourage consultations and funeral arrangements to be made via telephone, Skype, Whatsapp etc. (We’ll agree this during the first telephone call.)
We will ask a series of questions related to coronavirus/COVID-19 and pneumonia before we can commit to collecting the body. We will always be able to advise on the current next steps.
We will continue to help with the completion of all paperwork, but signing should take place remotely either by post, electronically or by dropping papers through letterboxes.
Currently, we will not be able to return a person home from their place of death before the funeral.
Additional to our extended hygiene regimes, our team may be wearing additional personal protective equipment (PPE), even when the risk is deemed to be low.
While being helpful, warm and friendly at all times, in order to safeguard the community, we will not shake hands or hug and trust that you understand this decision.
In the case of Coronavirus related deaths, we will follow any current government guidelines. This may require us to arrange a very prompt funeral to prevent unnecessary storage and handling of the person who has died.
We will carry disinfectant sprays and hand sanitisers in our vehicles, should they be required, but would ask participants to bring their own for their own comfort and security.
Service times at the crematoria or burial site may be altered to cope with increased demand, and participants may be restricted in numbers or length of time in the chapel. Some crematoria are encouraging wheeled biers to bring coffins into the chapel, rather than shouldering the coffin.
In the case that venues may need to cancel at short notice, we will make every effort to find a substitute venue, or to assist you to arrange a memorial service at a later date.
If the service takes place at a venue where live webcasting is available, we can help you to ensure this is implemented and communicate the details to people.
Families may be asked to make their own way to the funeral service to help protect the Limousine/people carrier drivers. Current advice is to limit funeral gatherings to immediate close family only – partners, parents, siblings, children and carers.
We will continue to operate at the highest standards and to make each funeral as honest and meaningful as we can in the current climate.
Should we have to adapt our working practices to include any new rules or regulations we will, at all times put the deceased and their family and friends in the forefront of our thinking and decision making.
We will update this page regularly as needed.
Being adaptable and flexible in difficult times is part of our mission, and we will continue to be committed to this way of working in the coming months.
Thank you for your understanding and if you have any questions about coronavirus / COVID-19 and funerals, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us by calling: 01273 569052 and we will do our best to help.
Last updated 07/04/2020, 12:00.