As the COVID-19 lockdown evolves, so do the guidelines given to us by the Government. These rules and recommendations are updated regularly and here at West & Sons we are in regular contact with the relevant authorities to ensure we stay up to speed with what is expected of us throughout these difficult and challenging times.
Updated guidance regarding the attendance of funerals from a mourner’s perspective has recently been issued, outlining recommendations for anyone planning on going to a service.
Currently, Funerals should have no more than 30 people in attendance. The social gathering restrictions, set to be mandatory from Monday 14th September, do not apply to funerals.
As we adjust to the new rules on face coverings in the UK, the Cabinet Office has clarified that from Saturday 8 August, face coverings must be worn by members of the public when attending:
- Funeral homes
- Indoor funeral services at cemeteries, crematoria, burial ground chapels.
- Indoor places of worship.
Mourners are strongly urged to follow the advice on safe social distancing when travelling to and from the funeral gathering. Wherever possible, mourners should travel to the venue in a car by themselves or with people from their household.
If this is not possible and funeral transport is required:
- Attendance levels should be within the capacity limits of each premises
- If you live with someone who has symptoms of COVID-19, you must not attend a funeral
- the number of people in each car should be kept as low as possible
- there should be good ventilation (keep the windows open)
- if possible, maintain at least two metres distance between passengers, maximising the distance through appropriate seating positions
- mourners should face away from each other
- vehicles should be cleaned regularly using gloves and standard cleaning products with particular emphasis on handles and other surfaces that passengers may touch
- the driver and passengers should wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after the journey or use hand sanitiser if that is all that is available. They should cover their mouth and nose with disposable tissues when coughing or sneezing or with the crook of their elbow if no tissues are available
- they should avoid touching their faces and if they cough, use a tissue and dispose of the used tissue in a bin immediately. If no tissue is available, they should use the crook of their sleeved arm.
If mourners are using shared transport with others that they do not normally meet and where social distancing is not possible, they should consider wearing a face covering.
According to the Government, evidence suggests that wearing a face covering does not protect you. However, if you are infected but have not yet developed symptoms, it may provide some protection for others you come into close contact with.
Any mourner who is showing COVID-19 symptoms (a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell) should not attend the funeral as they pose a risk to others; remote participation should be considered, for example, live streaming.
At West & Sons we will ensure that all guidelines are followed to allow our funerals to be conducted in a safe and secure fashion. We would politely request that all mourners do likewise to help protect your friends, family and also our staff.
If you need advice, please call our team on 01920 443277.