Safe funerals during the Coronavirus outbreak
- By Elaine Bird
- 16 April 2020
- North-West Norfolk
To help reduce the risk of spreading Coronavirus (COVID-19) residents in West Norfolk are being reminded of new guidance to ensure funerals are conducted safely and are consistent with social distancing rules.
Government guidance explains that, with certain precautions, funerals should continue to take place. To help reduce the risk of the highly infectious disease funeral directors and faith leaders are advised to restrict the number of mourners who attend. The main rules are:
· Only members of the deceased person’s household or close family members should attend.
· A safe distance of at least 2 metres (3 steps) should be maintained between individuals.
· Any individual displaying symptoms of COVID-19 should not attend.
· Those who do attend will need to adhere to social distancing at all times, including travelling to and from the funeral.
· In addition, the guidance advises that since there is a small but real risk of transmission from the body of a deceased person, mourners are strongly advised not to take part in any rituals or practices that bring them into close contact with the body of a person who has died from or with symptoms of COVID-19. Practices that involve close personal contact with the deceased should only be carried out using the correct personal protective equipment (PPE).
Chris Black, Cemeteries and Crematorium Manager for the borough council, said: “Losing a loved one at any time is a sad and distressing experience and, under normal circumstances, funerals are the perfect way to come together with friends and family to celebrate a person’s life. Unfortunately, due to Coronavirus, we must stick to the new guidelines of limiting the number of mourners and sticking to social distancing guidelines.
“These are in place to protect vulnerable people as well as our staff who continue to deliver a vital role during the pandemic.
“There is currently no fee for live streaming of funeral services at Mintlyn Crematorium. This gives friends and family of the deceased the chance to watch the service in the safety of their homes.”