How coronavirus may affect funerals 

As you may be aware, we are currently facing the threat of a coronavirus pandemic. As a responsible business, we are thinking of possible impacts on funerals already organised and those yet to be planned in the coming weeks and months. We have already taken the decision that all funerals will be hearse only, we will not be providing limousines based on government advice regarding social distancing and respecting the welfare of our clients and staff.

We would like to provide reassurance that our commitment to caring for bereaved people and their loved ones will remain steadfast throughout this period of uncertainty and disruption.

In our efforts to protect families and everyone involved in arranging funerals, we are considering a range of infection control options in line with the latest advice given by Public Health England. We are also working with partners, such as local crematoria and burial grounds, to ensure we comply with their coronavirus procedures.

As such, if we find ourselves in a position of increased risk to health, and at risk of furthering the spread of coronavirus, it is possible that we may need to take the following actions:

  • Funeral arrangements being made entirely over the phone, with a visit to a controlled area within our office for form signing with limited face-to-face contact. We would not be able to conduct arrangements at client’s homes or other venues.
  • Services at places of worship could be cancelled. In such circumstances we would be happy to arrange a memorial or thanksgiving service at a church or another venue at a later date, when the risk has passed.
  • Services at any venue could be cancelled or restricted to immediate family only. This could result in funeral services at the crematoria being “live-streamed” via the internet. We would provide advice aimed at ensuring everyone who needs to view the service is able to do so.
  • Service times at the crematoria could be adjusted and/or reduced to allow for increased demand for services.
  • Staff sharing. In the event of widespread staff illness, we have a contingency plan in place with the other local family-run and well-respected funeral directors to share personnel if required. Rest assured you will still see the same high standards of care and professionalism for all of our partner organisations.
  • We would protect our clients and staff by restricting visits to our chapel of rest.
  • We may not be offering our hygienic treatment (embalming) during this period.
  • Outside organisations will impose the rules and restrictions – we will adapt our working practices to follow these.
  • In the case of coronavirus related deaths, we may have to arrange a prompt funeral to prevent unnecessary storage and handling of the decreased.

We appreciate your help and consideration at this difficult time.  Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to call us.

William Downing