What Are The Current Funeral Regulations During COVID-19?
Trying to arrange and attend a funeral can be difficult at the best of times, let alone during a global pandemic. There are a set of regulations and rules set out by the government to reduce the risk of transmission when it comes to COVID 19. In this post, we’ll go through some of the measures that have been put in place to ensure the safety of yourself and your loved ones during this difficult time.
Like with any gathering of people, there is an increased risk in the transmission of COVID-19 if families choose to come together following the death of a family member/loved one. Whilst the government acknowledge the importance of the rituals and gathering that comes with a funeral, there are some advised precautions and actions that have been put in place in an effort to negate the risk of infection. This is especially important if there are people who seek to attend a funeral that are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.
If a death has been confirmed to be due to COVID-19, it’s universally recognised that those living in the household of the deceased have already been exposed to COVID-19 during the course of the deceased illness. With this being said, steps should still be taken to minimise any new exposure to those that are thinking of attending the funeral. Individuals who aren’t a part of the exposed household should take precaution especially those at risk of severe illness/are vulnerable.
The most recent government guidelines indicate that funeral services should continue and has advised local authorities/councils that funerals should carry on as normal with the caveat being on how many are able to attend. In order for local authorities to manage and conduct funerals properly, it’s important that they are not delayed and are arranged in a timely manner. We understand how difficult funeral arrangements are for the families and friends of lost loved ones, which is why we’re taking measures to ensure as much care and the utmost respect is given when conducting a funeral.
Measures To Take Before, During & After a Funeral:
- The current guidelines in England indicate that a maximum of 30 people can attend. However, venues may have different restrictions and rules depending on the cemetery and depending on the space they have. It should be noted that the total number in attendance does not include people who are working as part of the funeral service.
- Whilst you are at the funeral, you should ensure that the attendance numbers will account for and allow social distancing (at least 2 metres or 3 steps) so that the appropriate distance can be maintained between individuals.
- Face coverings should be worn at all times when gathering in a larger group. Again, this is to limit potential exposure to others who may be carrying COVID-19.
- Individuals who are experiencing COVID-19 like symptoms should not attend the funeral as they pose a high risk to others. If this is the case, remote attendance/participation should be considered.
Other Considerations When Organising a Funeral:
- It is important to only invite close friends and family to reduce the risk of spreading infection. Although a maximum of 30 people can legally attend, keeping this number lower will mean the risk is also kept to a minimum.
- If someone clinically vulnerable is attending, ensure other mourners are aware of this so they can be extra mindful whilst at the funeral. They should be respectful of the vulnerable person’s need to avoid close contact at any point.
- Utilising technology is another way to reduce risk. Try to facilitate remote participation such as live streaming or other. This is particularly relevant for anyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable and therefore unable to attend in person due to shielding.
- Mourners should avoid playing musical instruments that are blown. Some professional, socially-distanced vocal or instrumental contributions are permitted. These should take place outside wherever possible. Singing should be limited to one person where possible however this can be up to 3 individuals if it is essential to an act of worship. These individuals should each be at least 2 metres apart from each other, and should not include any audience participation. Consider using instrumental music or recordings as an alternative to live singing.
Helping You In Your Time Of Need:
Losing a friend or a family member can be an extremely difficult and challenging time. This can be made even more difficult as a result of the current situation with strict social distancing rules in place meaning you are unable to say goodbye to your loved one or seek physical comfort from others in the form of a hug or similar.
Our team will do everything they can to make the funeral as special as possible in these strange circumstances. We can help you choose each element of the funeral, assisting you in the planning process. We are here to help you at this difficult time and a simple phone call or email message is all it takes to enable us to start helping to plan and manage the funeral.
As members of the National Association of Funeral Directors, we take the appropriate steps to ensure we’re offering the utmost care and respect with the funerals we conduct. We have over four decades of experience offering funerals throughout weston super mare.