As the Coronavirus Pandemic restrictions continue to change rapidly, it is easy to feel confused. When trying to plan a funeral, already a difficult time, this simply is a further stress that can be done without. We’ve compiled a Funeral restriction guide to hopefully diffuse some of this stress.
What if I have symptoms?
Firstly, any person displaying symptoms of Covid-19 (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 this poses a threat to the safety of others. In these circumstances, remote participation such as viewing via live stream is encouraged as a safe alternative.
Who can attend?
In terms of attendance, a reasonable number of friends and family up to the number of 30. However, this may be less if the funeral venue cannot facilitate this number of mourners without also ensuring social distancing. If you are currently planning a funeral and have a set number in mind, it is worth checking with the venue that they have the required space to remain a safe environment
What precautions should the venue make?
The funeral venue should ensure that social distancing is maintained, and individuals should be 2 metres/3 steps apart. Face coverings should also be worn. Activities such as: singing, chanting, requiring raised voices or playing of instruments that are blown into should be avoided. These increase the risk of transmission.
Venues should also ensure good ventilation of indoor spaces, minimise overlap between gatherings and allow appropriate time for the venue to be cleaned thoroughly.
Travel to and from the funeral
Again mourners are encouraged to follow social distancing guidelines. If possible, people should attend the funeral in a vehicle by themselves or with people from their own household/support bubble.
However, if this is not possible and shared transport is a must, then you should ensure that the windows are kept open to allow good ventilation, hands are washed and face coverings are worn unless exempt. Furthermore, if you are in a car with people who are not within your support bubble/household you should try to face away from each-other.
What about attendees from overseas?
Individuals who have travelled from overseas to attend a funeral are not exempt from having to self-isolate for fourteen days. However, they may leave their place of quarantine to attend a funeral on compassionate grounds.
We hope that you found this guide useful. Although these guidelines seem difficult and it feels almost inhuman not to hug and be close to loved ones on such a difficult day, there is nothing more compassionate than ensuring the health and safety of the ones around you.
For a more extensive list of current funeral guidelines, visit gov.uk
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