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Guidance relating to burials

Joint Guidance from The Association of Private Cemeteries and Crematoria, The Cremation Society of Great Britain, The Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities and the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management relating to funerals during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Operational Changes

• Restrict all funerals to committal services only.

• Training up additional staff in the administration of burials etc. so a wider pool of staffing resource can be drawn upon on to cover COVID-19 sickness and meet higher demands. The focus will be on burials themselves.

• Checking that any contracted Funeral Directors are able to deal with any increases of Public Health Act funerals

• Requesting Cause of Death information at the time of provisional booking of interment slot, which is confirmed on Interment Forms.

• At the time of interment, Sextons will normally meet the cortege and show them to the grave. This will no longer happen as the Funeral Director will make their own way to the grave, place the coffin over the grave and then move back away from the grave. The Sexton will then move to check the name plate and leave the grave. At this stage the Funeral Director and Cortege will then be permitted to move to the grave and continue as normal. Back fill will only take place once all mourners have left the area.

• Ceasing any face to face meetings with families for reserving graves or enquiries.

• No longer providing a family soil box at the grave side to prevent cross contamination.

• Hand sanitizers or wipes for staff car after they have officiated at the grave side.

· In addition, asking Ministers and Celebrants to try to influence (limit) the content of funerals so that the time taken is limited.

• Respectfully asking minimum attendance - if possible asking the family to limit attendances to 'nearest and dearest' only.

• Reduce service attendance numbers and reduce the close proximity of mourners.

• Mourners are being discouraged from touching the coffin to avoid cross infection.

• Memorial applications and other associated administration tasks such as dealing with memorial applications, ancestry searches, will be recorded and put on hold.

Protection of Staff

Many local authorities are placing particular emphasis on the containment of the virus from their staff in order to ensure service continuity, examples include:

• Locking Enquiries Offices and reception areas in order to minimise contact with members of the public.

Ceasing of face to face meetings with families for reserve graves or enquiries.

• Funeral directors will be asked to post paperwork through the letter box.

• Setting up facilities for office staff to work from home and divert the phone lines to mobile numbers which staff can take home thereby reducing exposure of staff to the public and the need to leave their house.

• Splitting grave digging teams in to 2 teams and staggered break time to limit contact between teams.

• Segregating groups of grave diggers, including staggering lunch breaks to minimise contact of large groups of staff.

Posted: Tue, 31 Mar 2020 11:55 by Anita Sach

Tags: Burials