Last updated 14th April 2020
Whether a death is directly linked to COVID-19 or not, all aspects of arranging a funeral during the current Coronavirus epidemic will unfortunately be impacted by rapidly changing rules and restrictions related to funerals.
We will keep this blog post continually updated as the situation and government advice changes. At White Rose Modern Funerals we will always endeavour to retain as much normality as possible, both in how we engage with our families during the planning of a funeral and on the actual day of the funeral service.
Changes to the process for registering a death:
The Coronavirus Act 2020 has now been passed with modifications to the death registration processes including:
- Provision to allow the funeral director to register a death on behalf of the family. Relatives will still be the preferred informants.
- Deaths will be registered by telephone and documents sent electronically.
Temporary restrictions for funeral services:
- Most crematoria in our area – SW London / Surrey – are restricting the size of gatherings to 10 people attending – this is a strict limitation and cannot be exceeded.
- Typical additional restrictions (which vary for each crematorium) are:
- No family pallbearers
- No access to waiting room (preference is to wait in your vehicle until the start of the service)
- No touching of chapel doors or approaching the coffin
- Adhere to current social distancing guidelines (2m distance from other attendees)
- Curtains must close at the end of the service
How White Rose Modern Funerals are addressing the current situation:
- We can conduct family meetings virtually by online video conferencing and telephone / conference calls in accordance with guidelines issued by government for minimising the risk of transmission.
- We have modified our pricing for cremations by creating one Simple Cremation service to include a light wood effect coffin, smart hearsette transportation and optional video recording of the funeral so that those unable to attend can still view the funeral online. Our Direct Cremation service is also suited to the current restrictions for funeral services in the UK.
- We can video record, edit and publish the funeral service online to enable anyone not attending in person to view the service. Availability of live streaming cannot be guaranteed, but we can publish the video online by the next day (sometimes same day).
- During the current period we are unable to provide the following:
- Private viewings
- Dressing of your loved one
However, a smaller number of mourners does not have to mean a less meaningful farewell. Outside of this epidemic, we have helped many families when their need has been for just a small gathering – and seen many personalised, simple farewells, that have helped to give a family a sense of peace.
Many families that have preferred a very simple cremation service – have then organised a memorial at a later date. To have that little bit of space has enabled them to put a thoughtful service together when the initial grief and shock are less raw.
We feel for any family trying to plan a funeral during these unprecedented times and will do our utmost to help you, whilst adhering to current guidelines and restrictions for the safety of everyone,
If you need to plan a funeral, please call 020 3281 1045 to speak to Jacqui or Nick – we can talk everything through with you.