COVID-19 Coronavirus

How coronavirus may affect funerals

Please note that the current situation is rapidly changing and as a result so will this information.

This current version of this document was put together at 9.00am on 17th March 2020.

As you will be aware, we are currently facing the threat of a coronavirus Covid-19 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 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, by skype or other methods of video calling with a pre-arranged visit to a controlled area of our office for form signing with limited face-to-face contact. We would not be able to conduct arrangements at clients’ homes or other venues.
  • Services at places of worship or at any other venue 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. At most crematoria, funeral services can be live streamed via the internet. We would provide advice aimed at ensuring everyone who needs to view the service is able to do so. Our staff may also be required to wait outside any chapel or building during services, whilst remaining on hand to offer assistance in line with official guidance.
  • Service times at crematoria could be adjusted and/or reduced to allow for increased demand for services.
  • Limousine travel could be cancelled. This could result in the family of the deceased and mourners making their own way to the place of the funeral.
  • Staff sharing. In the event of widespread staff illness, we have a contingency plan in place with 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 from all of our partner organisations.
  • Viewings. We would protect our clients and staff by restricting viewings. However, we would do our best to enable clients to sit with the coffin during this period.
  • We would be unable to conduct any ‘into church’ provision or ‘into house’ during this period.
  • The funeral director and staff would not 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 may have to be cancelled.
  • We have taken the decision to close our catering suite until further notice.
  • In the case of coronavirus related deaths, we may have to arrange a prompt funeral to prevent unnecessary storage and handling of the deceased.
  • We may not be offering 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:

  • Our main reception door will be regularly cleaned and we ask that all visitors make use of our hand washing facilities, or hand sanitisers on arrival.
  • We have hand sanitiser in our main reception – please help us to keep you safe by using it. Our staff sometimes find that a client will want to shake hands or 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.

Thank you for your understanding, please rest assured we will do everything we can for you and your family at this time.

Want to speak to somebody?

Just give us a call and we will be more than happy to talk you through how we can help.

0116 234 0548
Golden Charter Funeral Plans
SAIF