With so little advice in public or online and seeing confusion around about how Covid19 is affecting funeral services, Claire at Youngs Funeral Directors has kindly send in the following helpful advice:
“Arranging a funeral during the Covid-19 Pandemic
There is very little information being given with regards to the funeral process during the Covid 19 outbreak, arranging a funeral is a very difficult process and even more so now during these unprecedented times. Over the past few weeks we, the funeral profession are continually being updated from both the local authority and central government on an almost daily basis but very little is being given to the public and the community as a whole. It is a subject that most people don’t want to think about or even discuss but the heart-breaking reality is people are dying, whether the death is attributed to Covid 19 or not, people are still losing loved ones and a funeral services must still take place.
Human nature dictates that we are never prepared emotionally when someone dies but information and transparency can allow us to prepare for what we may have to expect. Over the past week there has been an increased level of confusion and lots of questions about what can and cant happen when someone dies. I can only speak for my own company and pass on the guidelines issued by South Lanark- shire Council, should you require the need for a funeral director I would contact your preferred choice and speak to them directly at the earliest opportunity. All funeral directors are available 24hrs a day 7 days a week and can be contacted no matter the time.
Can I Still arrange a funeral?
Yes, funeral directors are still currently arranging funerals and despite offices being closed, most if not all are available 24hrs a day 7 days a week by telephone. Funerals can still be arranged in person at
funeral parlours but should you be isolating or do not feel comfortable leaving the house, most funeral directors have the ability to make funeral arrangements in a remote capacity via telephone email or any other platform. In line with government guidelines arrangements should be made by no more than 2 people in person.
How are funeral services affected?
Although funeral services are still taking place at this time, there have been restrictions put in place as to what services can be provided. The Church of Scotland have closed all churches, therefore at this time church services cannot be included in any arrangements you make. The Catholic Diocese will still offer Holy Mass for your loved one but this will be said in private, you should make contact with your parish priest via telephone.
Crematoria and burial grounds at this time are still allowing attended funeral services to go ahead and officiants of all denominations are still able to carry out these services. Restrictions are in place at all facilities and your funeral director will advise you on what these are. It is requested that it is immediate family only who attend and have issued the following guidelines of who they class this as:
- Children (and partners)
- Where there is no family close friends are permittedIf you are due to attend a funeral and do not fall into one of the relationship categories , we ask that you contact the person arranging the funeral. Social distancing should still be adhered to and all
facilities are offering gloves and hand sanitiser on entry if required. We would advise that pregnant woman and those from the at risk categories do not attend.
Registering a death
All face to face appointments at the registration office have been cancelled. Hospitals and GP’s are sending the death certificate direct to the registrar and families will then be required to make contact with the registrar via telephone to arrange registration. All death registrations will take place remotely via telephone with no exceptions. Your funeral director should advise and assist you with this process and liaise directly with the registrar and bereavement services on your behalf.
a) the referral of medical certificates of cause of death for review under
section 24A of the Births, Deaths and Marriages (Scotland) Act 1965,
(b) the right of an interested person to apply for a review of a medical
certificate of cause of death under section 4(1) of the Certification of Death
(Scotland) Act 2011 (“the 2011 Act”), and
(c) the review of medical certificates of cause of death under section 8(1) of
the 2011 Act,
are suspended with effect from 14:00 on 26 March 2020.
Can I still visit my loved one?
Each funeral director will have their own policy with regards visiting the deceased, if you wish to see your loved one prior to the funeral then I would recommend you ask what each companies policy is
before nominating your funeral director
Can the funeral service be delayed?
Local authority and central government guidelines are changing daily and at this stage we are unsure of how long these restrictions will be in place. The advice given is that all funerals should take place
rather than delaying them indefinitely. While it is likely that this would not be how you or your loved one had planned the funeral to be carried out, funeral directors should endeavour to make it as personal and unique as possible. At a later date, when restrictions have been lifted your funeral director can assist you in arranging a memorial service or celebration of life.
Should you be in the unfortunate position where you require to make funeral arrangements for a loved one, you should contact your chosen funeral director at the earliest opportunity. It is their job is to help and guide you and advise you of the steps that need to be taken.
Stay home, stay safe and look after one another. Claire Young
Young’s Funeral Directors.”
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