Plan B measures enacted to slow spread of Omicron variant
A number of new measures announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson this week will impact upon funeral directors in England.
The first is the expansion of settings which require face coverings to be worn. As of Friday 10th December, it is mandatory to wear coverings in crematoria and burial ground chapels and places of worship. Additionally, face coverings must be worn by staff working in those settings where the public are required to wear face coverings and where staff come into direct contact with the public.
Further details about the rules on when to wear face coverings in England can be found here.
Our summary of advise would be:
Masks – it is mandatory to wear coverings in crematoria and burial ground chapels and places of worship. Additionally, face coverings must be worn by staff working in those settings where the public are required to wear face coverings and where staff come into direct contact with the public.
Singing – restrictions on singing will be lifted, but again we would encourage people to remain seated while singing and to wear masks to limit the risk of spread of infection.
Hand sanitiser – we would encourage people to still use hand sanitiser and most venues will have this available.
Own bearers – we have allowed families to carry coffins since opening and will continue to do so. We will also continue to offer them hand sanitiser once they have positioned the coffin.
Mourners with Covid – whilst we cannot mandate, we ask that no one who has tested positive with Covid or who has been asked to self-isolate attends a funeral to protect other mourners, our staff and crematoria staff.
Live web casting – this will still be an option for those who are vulnerable or tested positive to be able to participate in a funeral service.
OPTIONS AVAILABLE TO YOU
- We welcome you into our offices and still have hand sanitiser; masks must be worn whilst on our premises. We do ask if anyone has tested positive to not visit out offices, we are still able to arrange funerals over the phone or via other electronic means. You should not arrange a funeral in person if anyone involved has symptoms or should be self-isolating, in accordance with government advice. It is vital that we do all we can to reduce the spread of the virus and that funeral service employees (who are key workers) can remain healthy and able to continue supporting bereaved families.
- Think about who will attend and ensuring those from at-risk groups (e.g. pregnant women or those with underlying health conditions) are not put at greater risk by attending.
- Consider holding the funeral service outdoors as this will reduce the risk of the virus spreading between mourners but as the disease is airborne.
- Webcasting/live streaming the funeral service (using professional or personal devices), enabling other mourners to still participate without putting themselves and others at risk of harm.
- All charitable collections should be done online. We offer free online memorial pages we create for you.