The current situation regarding Covid-19 and lockdown 3 is concerning for us all. We know that many of you will be making changes to your own daily activities and future plans to take into account the well-being of not only yourselves, but your family and friends. This is an unprecedented situation, with things moving and changing very quickly. We understand that you will still want to pay your respects to friends and family members but may feel reluctant to attend services where there will be many people around.
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 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 continuing to adopt a range of infection control procedures 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 of our office for form signing with limited face-to-face contact. We ask that no more than 2 people attend our offices. We would not be able to conduct arrangements at clients’ homes or other venues.
- The maximum number of mourners permitted to attend a funeral is 30. As long as the venue allows.
- It maybe 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.
- Service times at crematoria could be adjusted and/or reduced to allow for increased demand for services.
- We have continued to use Limousines but this is under review with the latest lockdown, This could result in the family of the deceased and mourners making their own way to the place of the funeral.
- Family travelling in the limousine will need to be from the same household or support bubble, due to the new tier 5 restrictions. Each Limousine will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before and after each family have travelled.
- We would protect our clients and staff by restricting people visiting our chapel of rest. Viewing will be by appointment only between 10.00noon and 4.00pm. For Cases involving Covid 19 we have developed a special coffin with a viewing panel to allow families to pay their last respects to their loved ones.
- The funeral director and staff will not be able to remain in a chapel or other venue during the service. They will remain close by, outside, ready to assist you when required.
- Pre- and post-funeral gatherings need to be in line with the latest Government guidance and may have to be cancelled.
- If our specialist team are affected by Coronavirus, we may not be able to offer our hygienic treatment (embalming) during this period.
- Outside organisations will impose rules and restrictions – we will adapt our working practices to follow these.
We ask that all visitors to our office are aware of the following:
- We have hand sanitiser in our main reception and at the entrance to all our offices, – please help us to keep you safe by using it. Face coverings are required to be worn at all our offices – unless medically exempt.
- Our staff sometimes find that a client will want to give them a kiss or hug to say thank you for supporting them through a difficult time. We politely ask that you refrain from doing this during this period and for the foreseeable future.
Thank you for your understanding.
From our family to yours, please take care.
Jeremy West & Our Family Team