Minimising the risk of transmission
Funeral directors remain absolutely committed to supporting all bereaved people at this very difficult time, but are rightly concerned about increasing the risk of infection to both at-risk groups of mourners and to all those in key worker roles. Like supermarket workers and other essential services, funeral employees have a vitally important and sensitive job to do and so it is critical they are able to do it safely, by being able to stay within the social distancing rules.
If you wish to visit a funeral home to arrange a funeral, then in England, Wales and Scotland you will be required to wear a face covering. In Northern Ireland it is also mandatory unless the business concerned can reduce the risk of transmission through an appointments system and social distancing. Check with your chosen funeral director.
If you wish to view the deceased person by visiting the Chapel of Rest or participate in a funeral custom such as ritual washing, please discuss this with your funeral director.
On the day
Many firms have now safely re-introduced limousines for bereaved clients, following guidance to ensure they can be used safely, including the use of perspex screens, limiting the number travelling to ensure they can sit as far back as possible and additional cleaning. Face coverings must be worn by passengers in funeral vehicles.
Face coverings are also required during all indoor funeral services (including places of worship, burial ground chapels and crematoria) in England, Wales and Scotland. In Northern Ireland, face coverings are recommended but not mandatory.
Close family members in England and Wales that are COVID positive or symptomatic, are exempted from prosecution if they wish to attend a funeral if but are strongly recommended to find alternative ways to participate in the funeral rather than in person – to minimise the risk of transmission. Webcasting/live streaming of the funeral service (using professional or personal devices) can be recommended, for example. If they do wish to attend, they should notify you in advance – to enable the appropriate precautions to be undertaken.
Please be mindful of how you advertise the funeral details, to reduce the risk of other, well-meaning mourners arriving unexpectedly. This is not permitted under current social distancing laws. and they may be turned away at the door, which could be distressing for them and the bereaved family. Alternatives such as lining the route, leaving messages on condolence/tribute pages, participating in the ceremony online, watching a recording of the funeral ceremony afterwards etc should be considered instead.
All charitable collections should be done online.
Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for further information.
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