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Covid-19 funeral guidance

Viner and Sons are still here to help you mourn for the loss of your loved one. We are welcoming two people into the office at a time to arrange a funeral, but you must wear a face mask unless you are exempt. The following guidance aims to balance the needs of the bereaved to mourn appropriately while minimising the spread of COVID-19 infection. 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.

When gathering to mourn, your main concern should be to limit risks around the transmission of the virus. Those risks increase whenever households mix. A household means those people who usually live together under the same roof and share facilities with you. If you have family members who do not normally live with you they need to be treated as a separate household.

These actions include:

  • ensuring venue capacity and attendance numbers allow social distancing (at least 2 metres or 3 steps) to be maintained between individuals. See further detail under the section on management of the venue
  • ensuring that those attending are reminded of the need to wear a face covering. See further detail under the section on social distancing for mourners
  • a modest number of close friends and family of the deceased may attend although funerals should have no more than 30 people in attendance. Attendance should also be within the capacity limits of the premises so that social distancing can be strictly adhered to. In some cases that may be less than 30 people. See further detail under the section on management of the venue
  • 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 NHS 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 should also follow the advice on social distancing when travelling to and from the funeral gathering. See the section on travelling to and from the funeral

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.

Should you wish any more advice regarding this, please call the Viner and Sons office on 01732 842485.

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