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CORONAVIRUS AND FUNERALS - UPDATED 3/4/2020

Updated: Apr 3

Things are changing with Coronavirus. Fast. And funerals are not exempt from that. Here is some useful information for you to keep in mind when planning a funeral.


Woven Farewell updates

A lot of families are going to be experiencing financial difficulties due to the virus, so I've decided to discount my coffins by £75 to help bring the cost of the overall funeral down. Willow coffins are not only sustainable and beautiful, but Woven Farewell coffins are triple lined with biodegradable plastic, cotton and cardboard to keep the funeral workers as safe as possible. Although I can't welcome families to weave part of their loved one's coffin with me at the moment, I'm continuing to provide a caring, reliable and prompt service.


While an outright ban to funerals might seem like a straightforward way of reducing the spread of Coronavirus, there is real risk of this having serious unintended emotional consequences for bereaved families. Funerals will be permitted therefore, but with strict social distancing and hygiene guidelines.

Some main changes are:

- Attendance is restricted to close family members and members of the person's household only, and no gatherings can be held after the ceremony at any venue. Memorials/ life celebration can be organised for a later date.

- Crematoriums and funeral homes may have their own guidelines to be adhered to, and they may have online broadcasting to avoid mourners attending in person

- Service books are unlikely to be unavailable so you may need to arrange your own service sheets

- Services may need to be shorter so the venue can be cleaned between services

- Consider whether it’s appropriate for family members to be bearing the coffin, some venues may have replaced coffin bearing completely by a hydraulic trolley.

On the day:

- Wait outside in the car until you're asked to enter the building by the celebrant, chapel attendant or funeral director.

- All mourners should be two meters apart unless they are part of the same household.

- Don't shake hands with anyone, including the minister, funeral director or other mourners.

- Bring hand sanitiser and use hygiene products made available at the venue.

- You may be advised not to touch the coffin as you leave the service, gardens may be closed and please donate charitable money online.


Finances:

- The Government is in discussion with NAFD to adapt the Social Fund Funeral Payment to work more effectively during the pandemic.

- If there is a funeral plan in place, contact the provider to see if the pandemic will affect the funeral plan. If you have concerns or have trouble tracing the plan, contact the Funeral Planning Authority.



For more information about the current guidelines, please visit:

The Institute of Cemetery and Cremation Management

National Association of Funeral Directors



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