Restricted funeral services to continue
Given the continued importance of social distancing and the significant risk of a second peak of infections, there are no significant planned changes to funeral services in any part of the UK at the present time.
This includes in England, for which the Government has this week outlined the move to Phase 2 of the response to COVID-19.
The NAFD fully appreciates that the current restrictions are extremely tough for bereaved families. However, they are there to protect as many lives as possible and so it is important they continue to be adhered to.
Funeral services should continue to only be attended by:
• members of the person’s household
• close family members (including those who are in high-risk categories or are self-isolating)
• if neither household or family members are in attendance, then it is possible for a modest number of friends to attend
No specific number has been set by the Government (with the exception of Northern Ireland) but venue managers may set maximum numbers based upon the ability of each mourner to observe social distancing guidelines.
Individual funeral service venues are working hard to enable as many mourners as possible to attend, while still maintaining social distancing rules. The situation will vary at local level as funeral directors liaise with colleagues at their nearest crematoria and cemeteries. It is hoped that churches in the UK may soon reopen for small funeral services such as are already permitted at crematoria or cemeteries.
There are no changes to current funeral arrangements in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
Many cemeteries are also now open to enable families to pay respects. Despite the increased flexibility in relation to outdoor exercise, the public is strongly urged to avoid using cemeteries for exercise, to enable those who are grieving to have the space and privacy they need to visit graves.
Many of the most frequently asked questions by members of the public have been answered on NAFD’s COVID 19 website.
Get more with a subscription.
Everything you need to know in the funeral industry. Get much more with a subscription to FSJ, from just £2.42 per month.