With significant measures being taken across the country to combat the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), we suggest the following changes to the way you operate into the foreseeable future.
The Stage 2 restrictions introduced by the Government at last night’s National Cabinet meeting now restrict the maximum number of people attending a funeral to 10.
Our empathies are with those families that these restrictions will affect, but do understand the importance of adhering to them.
Suggested operating changes that could be introduced are as follows:
All funeral documentation, for both burial and cremation, to be sent to you electronically.
Wherever possible, request these documents 24 hours prior to the service.
If you go electronically acknowledge the documentation has been received.
Due to the increasing demand for full services at the graveside, you may wish to consider placing a time limit on your bookings to ensure that you can service all families and funeral companies alike.
You may wish to have your staff that are assisting in carrying or setting up of coffins on graves to wear disposable gloves for their safety.
Hand lowering of coffins:
Due to social distancing requirements, you may have to revise your current procedures in regards to hand lowering of coffins to protect the health and wellbeing of your staff.
You may wish to consider the following procedure in relation to hand lowering of coffins at your sites:
- Wherever a lowering device can be installed and used it will be.
- Hand lowering will only occur where the installation of a lowering device is physically impossible.
- Hand lowering should not to be conducted by family members.
- It is advisable to hand lower without family attendance.
- Lowering of the coffin prior to the arrival of the family can be performed subject to prior arrangement.
- Non-attendance by the family creates a much less stressful environment and allows staff to take a purposeful and considered approach to assessing the situation, particularly in respect of the requirements for the safe lowering of coffins.
Removal of pews from the chapel and replacement of them with minimum single style seating to reflect the new restrictions of a maximum of 10 people including arranging staff is recommended.
Please be aware that the responsibility for families adhering to these limits is that of the arranging staff.