It has always been Countryside Funerals’ aim to arrange funerals that are unique to every individual; giving their family and friends a genuinely meaningful way to say goodbye.
Restrictions imposed during the Covid-19 pandemic are, however, having a direct impact in the way that funerals are currently having to be arranged and carried out. The situation and the restrictions change almost daily, but we hope that this piece will give some guidance to anyone needing to arrange a funeral in these difficult times.
Attendance at funerals
The transmission of coronavirus at funeral gatherings to the elderly, frail, those in vulnerable groups, along with funeral and crematorium staff cannot be overlooked. Further to the UK Government’s restrictions from 23/3/20, and guidance from a group of funeral/cremation trade associations, we support their recommendations that attendance at funerals is limited to immediate family members who are not in any high-risk categories or are self-isolating. Immediate family will include
• Children (and partners)
It should also be noted that many crematoria, cemetery and church authorities are limiting the numbers attending in any case. Depending on the venue, this number can typically vary between 0-25. Seating in venues is also set out to maintain a safe distance between people.
We will be pleased to advise families about options and costs of webcasting/live-streaming/recording funerals so that those unable to be present can have an opportunity to watch the service.
Many crematoria are now requesting that the coffin is not carried on shoulders, but instead a wheeled trolley (bier) is used, hence minimising both staff numbers present and personal contact with the coffin. Families are also requested not to touch or kiss the coffin at any time.
In order to minimise risk to both drivers and family members, we will not be making limousines or cars available to transport mourners until further notice.
Again, to minimise risk of transmission between our staff and family members, we are asking that families choose not to come and see their loved ones, although we will consider all requests and advise accordingly. Viewings will only be considered for immediate family and will be limited to no more than 2 people at a time.
We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to help you plan arrangements and carry out funerals throughout this difficult time. If you or other family members are isolating, and to minimise personal contact, we can make most arrangements by telephone, email or skype. We can also be contacted via our Social Media channels on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or messaging apps such as WhatsApp. We will be also be pleased to meet you by appointment, at our Gold Street office where we have hand-washing/sanitising facilities and we can meet while maintaining safe ‘social distance’. If you do require a home-visit, please contact us and we will be pleased to organise this, as long as safe-distancing can be in place.
With directives from UK Government, and advice from SAIF, our independent Trade Association, being updated daily, the situation is likely to change equally quickly for the foreseeable future. We will try and update via this blog, and our Social Media channels as quickly as we are able, but do feel free to call us on 01884 258881 for immediate assistance.
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