How Covid-19 is Affecting Funerals

Last Updated 26th July 2021

From 19th July 2021

 

All legal restrictions on mask wearing and social distancing have now been removed, though some venues may still ask you to wear masks or have their own procedures in place. It is still recommended to wear masks in crowded spaces.

 

When planning a funeral service, please be mindful that even if you are comfortable with the easing of restrictions, there may still be vulnerable people, or those who are wary in attendance. Our staff will continue to wear masks at services and PPE when attending deaths.

This page will be updated as new information is released, it is meant as a general summary of what is currently happening with all funerals. In the event that we are caring for a family whose loved one has passed away from Covid-19, we will speak to the family individually if any special measures are required, however there is no additional restrictions on the type of funeral available, and people are still able to come and see the deceased if wished.

We are following all government advice around attendance at funerals. If you are showing any Covid-19 symptoms, you should not attend. If you are in an 'at-risk' group, or self-isolating due to someone in your household having symptoms, we can help to facilitate you attending the service, you should make any others attending aware of your situation, maintain social distancing at all times, wear a type IIR mask or superior, wash your hands or use hand gel regularly, and you must depart as soon as the service is over.

We will discuss with each family individually what they would like to take place, although this is of course outside our control and will need to be amended if guidance changes.

Funeral Arrangements

We are able to offer in person arrangements, by appointment only, at our premises, subject to existing self-isolation recommendations. For those where this is not practical, or those who are not comfortable with this, we offer phone or video call appointments, paperwork can then be posted or emailed as necessary. We ask that all visits to our premises are done by appointment.

From Monday 6th July 2020, we will be resuming our limousine service with the following in place, please note that failure to adhere to these guidelines may result in a refusal of travel:

•    The divider between the driver and passengers (maximum of 6) will remain up at all times, no front seat passengers.
•    Between each use, the vehicle will be cleaned with an anti-viral fogging machine, proven to kill Covid-19.
•    The same driver will remain with the vehicle from leaving the garage until its return.
•    Drivers will wear a mask.
•    Passengers are required to wear a face covering, unless exempt.

When discussing services with ministers/celebrants, some are happy to do this in person, others still prefer phone and video calls.

All Funeral Services

Funeral service attendance is no longer legally limited to a certain number, instead, each individual venue has to decide what, if any, restrictions they wish to keep in place.

Congregational singing is now permitted, however a number of places will ask you to wear a mask should singing be taking place.

Where safe to do so, we will carry the coffin with up to 6 bearers. Families can choose to carry the coffin themselves if wished, where 4 bearers are sufficient to carry the coffin, family bearers can be mixed with our staff, where 6 bearers are required, we are unfortunately still unable to mix.

Webcasting/livestreaming may be available to open up the service to a anyone who is unable to attend, please see the livestreaming page for more information.

Churches

The majority of Churches are now open for funerals. Congregational singing is now permitted, though you may be asked to wear a mask.

Crematoria

York Crematorium has now returned to its usual service length of 40 minutes, and all chairs have been returned to the chapels.

Octon Crematorium has now returned to its usual capacity.

 

There are options for services to take place elsewhere, both for religious and non-religious services, please contact us to discuss this.

Cemeteries

Attendance at burials is no longer legally limited, though as elsewhere, some cemeteries are capping the number as their risk assessments deem appropriate. 

Florists

Most shops have now re-opened, you can also place online and telephone orders. We are able to accept orders as we normally would, and will fulfil them through our usual florists.

Service Sheets

Our printers are fully operational and we able to produce bespoke service sheets as normal. With reduced attendance, and no communal service books, it is currently very popular to have these, both for the service itself, and to send out as mementos for those who are unable to attend.

Reception Venues/Wakes (from 21st June 2021)

There is no longer any legal restrictions, though each venue may have its own rules that you are asked to follow.

Travelling to a Different Area

A funeral is a permitted reason to travel in all areas. If you are travelling from abroad and need advice, please contact us.

Attending a Death

Please be aware that whenever we attend a death now, whether at a house, or a care facility, we will be wearing personal protective equipment, minimising both any risk to our staff, but also to families and any other residents. All our staff attending deaths are being tested twice a week, and have received both of their vaccinations.

Funeral Livestreaming

Most crematoria have livestreaming facilities available. We may also be able to provide livestreaming to funerals taking place elsewhere, such as Churches and Cemeteries. For full details, please see our livestreaming page.

Ashes Interments, Scatterings and Memorial Services (from 21st June 2021)

Like wakes, these are no longer legally limited, though venues may still ask you to follow their own rules. If you feel the time is right to have a service or event to remember the life of your loved one, please contact us and we can discuss your thoughts and wishes.

If you have any questions at all about arranging or attending a funeral, please do get in touch