Funerals and Coronavirus/ COVID-19   Click here to learn more

CORONAVIRUS/COVID-19 UPDATE

August 2020

During the Coronavirus lockdown, we have managed to adapt to the restrictions placed on funerals to provide smaller but still meaningful ceremonies.  We have also found that families we have worked with have generally adapted well and have sometimes even preferred the intimacy of only having immediate family members present, with the intention of holding a more inclusive get together at a later and safer time, also in the knowledge that their grief will be a little less raw.  The guidelines drawn up by the government in consultation with the two main funeral trade associations NAFD and SAIF, stated that in order to reduce contact, face to face meetings for the arrangement of funerals should be replaced by remote options such as phone calls, email, and skype.  This has actually worked a lot better than we would have expected, and we have been able to continue to be as present as each family needs us to be.  We therefore feel that it is safer to continue to operate in this way for the time being.  We are still dealing with COVID cases and we are present at many funerals so in the interest of the safety of our clients, this feels the right thing to do.  If, however you would prefer a face to face meeting with us, we can arrange this by appointment and we would ask that you restrict numbers to a maximum of two people to ensure that we can comply to social distancing rules.

The government updated their guidelines for funerals on 4th July, to allow up to 30 persons to attend with all the social distancing rules applying, meaning mourners from different households still have to remain two metres apart.  The Guidelines were recently updated again on 11th August to add the requirement to wear face coverings in indoor places of worship, crematoria and burial ground chapels.  The guidance is unclear, however at this present time if outdoor ceremonies can cater for larger groups if social distancing is adhered to.

The larger numbers of mourners allowed at each service means that there could be over 300 people moving through a crematorium chapel in one day, and it’s very difficult to clean effectively between each service.  The requirement to wear face coverings will mitigate the risks but we would recommend choosing the earlier time slots in the day.  This might be less convenient, but it will be a lot safer as it ensures that you will be one of the first groups people to sit on the seats after a more thorough clean of the evening before, therefore minimising the risks as much as possible.  This will not suit everybody, and we can work with you to find the most convenient time for you.

Most crematoria are now allowing up to 30 mourners, however this is dependent on the space they have to allow social distancing – please refer to numbers below or their individual websites for more detailed updates.

All of the Crematoria below have webcasting facilities available which means that you can arrange for other friends and family members to watch the service remotely.  Fees differ from site to site between £45 – £65 and Medway is free of charge.

Please note that singing and touching the coffin are still actively discouraged to limit the spread of the virus.

Vinters Park – 30 people

http://www.maidstone.gov.uk/home/other-services/burials-and-cremations/primary-areas/vinters-park-crematorium

 

Charing – 29 people

https://www.charing-crematorium.co.uk/

 

Medway – 30 people

https://www.medway.gov.uk/info/200157/deaths/50/medway_crematorium

 

Garden of England (Bobbing) – 30 people

The Garden of England Crematorium

Thames View, Gravesend – 30 people

Thames View Crematorium and Cemetery

Barham – 23 people

https://www.barham-crematorium.co.uk/

 

Hawkinge – 30 people

https://www.dignityfunerals.co.uk/crematoria-and-cemeteries/about-us/covid-19/

 

Kent and Sussex – 22 people or 30 people sitting in household groups

Crematorium

Churches have also now reopened for funerals but each one is working at it’s own discretion for numbers of mourners and other restrictions, depending on the size of the Church and the individual Minister’s situation.  Please ask us and we will find this out for you on a case by case basis.  Please see the link below for detailed information on funerals in churches during COVID-19:

https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2020-06/COVID%2019%20Advice%20on%20Conducting%20Funerals%20v2%20links.pdf

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-places-of-worship-during-the-pandemic-from-4-july/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-places-of-worship-during-the-pandemic-from-4-july

Please refer to the current government restrictions on funerals for more information:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-managing-a-funeral-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic/covid-19-guidance-for-managing-a-funeral-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic

 

If you have any questions about coronavirus/COVID-19 and funerals, or any advice or guidance, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us – we are here to help 24/7.

by calling 01622 746688, 01233 650746 or by emailing

[email protected]

This blog documents all sorts of ideas to honour the person who has died during these impossible times, hopefully you will find something that resonates with you.  Please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us by phone or email so that we can discuss options with you and help you find a way forward that works for you.



Please read our guest blog post on the Good Funeral Guide Website below on we can redefine how we actually say goodbye to our loved ones to help us cope with these difficult decisions:

 

 

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