COVID-19 Statement Update: 25th Aug 2020
For your information, it is now mandatory that a face-mask, or a face-covering, is worn at all funeral services, whether inside Crematoria Service Chapels, inside Churches or outside at a grave-side ceremony. It is now also a legal requirement that a face-mask, or a face-covering, is worn inside all Funeral Directors emporiums throughout England by anyone visiting those premises.
ALL visits to the Funeral Directors premises should be strictly by prior appointment.
Communities, organisations and individuals are strongly advised to take action to reduce the risk of spreading covid-19 infection among mourners who are gathered to pay their respects, with a particular focus on protecting people who are clinically vulnerable or clinical extremely vulnerable and more likely to develop severe illness. These actions include: ensuring venue capacity and attendance numbers allow social distancing (at least 2 metres or 3 steps) to be maintained between individuals. A modest number of close friends and family of the deceased may now attend.
Mourners who are self-isolating due to someone in their household or support bubble being unwell with symptoms of covid-19, or as advised by N.H.S. ‘Test and Trace’, but are not symptomatic themselves, should be facilitated to attend the funeral in person should they wish to do so, with processes put in place to minimise the risk of transmission. Mourners who are clinically vulnerable, or clinically extremely vulnerable, should also be facilitated to attend, with processes put in place to minimise the risk of transmission. Any mourner who has 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. Mourners who have travelled to England from countries that are not exempt from the requirement to self-isolate (in the last 14 days) may attend the funeral. Mourners should also follow the advice on social distancing when travelling to and from the funeral gathering. Pre-funeral and post-funeral ceremonies may be held in line with the guidance on staying alert and safe (social distancing) However, Families may consider deferring a celebration, or memorial service, until further social restrictions are lifted and at a time when attendance can take place safely.
What we do now need from the Family, however, is that when having discussions within your Families, as an absolute necessity, to be aware of and to take down the names, addresses and contact telephone numbers of everyone who is to attend the funeral service. This is really important so that, at a later date, if one of those persons develops symptoms of covid-19 and ‘Test and Trace’ arrangements are initiated, those who attended the funeral service can be contacted. This information should be retained for a minimum of 28 days. We believe this is a more reasonable and practical approach to supporting ‘Test and Trace’ than the Funeral Director collating contact details in advance of a funeral service of all those attending funeral services. This new arrangement will, however, be subject to periodic review.
Social distancing MUST be maintained throughout all funeral services, and this applies equally at The Crematorium and at funeral services in Churches, Churchyards and Cemeteries.
We are following the guidance of the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD), which a copy of can be found on their website: https://nafdcovid19.org.uk/
COVID-19 Funeral Attendance Numbers
Last update: 8th October 2020
Numbers allowed at Crematoria:
- Telford Crematorium: 30
- Emstrey (Shrewsbury) Crematorium: 13
- Wyre Forest Crematorium: 30
- Stourbridge Crematorium: Currently closed due to refit
- Gornal Wood Crematorium: 16
(Vast majority of Cematoria have closed their reception areas and most have closed the public toilets)
Numbers allowed at Cemeteries and Churchyards:
- Bridgnorth Town Cemetery: 30
- Anglican Churchyards: 30 (20 for Cremated Remains)
Numbers in Churches:
- The is subject to the incumbent of The Church (Maximum 30)
Private land and spaces (to hold a service or burial)
- No more than 30 people for outside gatherings.
The government has introduced higher penalties for those who do not comply, to reflect the increased risk to others of breaking the rules as we begin to ease the restrictions. If the police believe that you have broken the law – or if you refuse to follow their instructions enforcing the law – a police officer may issue you with a fixed penalty notice for £100 (reduced to £50 if paid within 14 days). If you have already received a fixed penalty notice, the amount will increase to £200 and double on each further repeat offence, up to a maximum of £3200.
Clinically vulnerable people
If you have any of the following health conditions, you may be clinically vulnerable, meaning you could be at a higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus. You are advised to stay at home as much as possible and, if you do go out, take particular care to minimise contact with others outside your household or support bubble.
Clinically vulnerable people are those who are:
· aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)
· under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (that is, anyone instructed to get a flu jab each year on medical grounds):
· chronic (long-term) mild to moderate respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
· chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
· chronic kidney disease
· chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
· chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), or cerebral palsy
· a weakened immune system as the result of certain conditions or medicines they are taking (such as steroid tablets)
· being seriously overweight (a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above)
· pregnant women
As above, there is a further category of people with serious underlying health conditions who are clinically extremely vulnerable, meaning they are at a very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus. You, your family, and carers should be aware of the guidance on shielding which provides information on how to protect yourself still further should you wish.