CORONAVIRUS – THE IMPACT ON FUNERALS

Due to the Covid-19 virus, there are still certain restrictions placed on us by the government, Public Health Wales, Public Health England and the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management (ICCM) regarding funeral services.
We are working to ensure that we can preserve the dignity of those who die and care for their bereaved families with compassion. Details of the restrictions in place can be seen further down this page. The guidance we offer relates to rules in Wales unless otherwise specified.
There were major legislative changes passed in parliament on Friday, 27th March 2020 to allow the Doctor’s Medical Certificate of Cause of Death to be sent directly from the doctor to the Register Office by email, thus avoiding the need for families or executors to physically collect the certificate. Registration of the death can then be made by telephone on an appointment system direct with the Registrar and the required paperwork for the funeral will be emailed to the funeral director. The Certified Copy(s) of Entry of Death (Death Certificates) can be purchased for £11 each by card payment over the phone when registering and will then be posted to the family/executor/representative.
We ask that anyone who may have symptoms, feels unwell, has been around someone who may be infected with the Covid-19 virus to not attend our office or visit the chapel of rest. Arrangements can be made at our office or in your home. Masks should be worn in our office unless you are exempt on medical grounds. We can offer to make arrangements over the telephone or via email if preferred and any necessary forms can be dropped off locally for signing and collection. Again, legislative changes have been made to enable cremation and burial application forms to be emailed to the family for printing, completing, scanning and sending back or posting to or collected locally by the funeral director, thus avoiding the need to attend the funeral directors office.
At this time, you can continue to visit loved ones in our chapel of rest whether or not their death was related to the Covid-19 virus. Please call us to make an appointment if you wish to visit.
Most churches have resumed funeral services without limit of numbers who can attend. It is up to the incumbent of each individual church to carry out a risk assessment to see if they are able to open for funerals and, if so, what numbers they are willing to accommodate. We can check and advise on the current position of a particular church for you if wished.
Crematoria now allow attendance up to the capacity they can seat.
If any person is unwell, has symptoms, known to have been or possibly has been in contact with anyone that could be unwell then we ask them to please not attend the funeral.
Cemeteries have no restriction on the number of persons who can attend a burial.
Pentrebychan Crematorium can accommodate up to 100 persons. Masks must be worn unless exempt and singing is still not permitted.
Flintshire (Northop) Crematorium can accommodate up to 104 persons and allow an additional persons to stand outside under the canopy where there is an external speaker. Masks must be worn and singing is permitted.
Chester Crematorium can accommodate 90 persons, do not require masks to be worn and allow singing.
NOTE: All the crematoria and churches require family, friends, clergy and funeral staff attending a funeral to complete, or have completed on their behalf, a form to comply with ‘Track and Trace’. These details will be shared with the NHS, only where necessary, to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The details will be destroyed after 21 days.
Face masks must be worn by mourners and funeral staff at all churches and crematoria in Wales unless the person is exempt on medical grounds. Masks can be removed by any clergy, celebrants and family when speaking from the pulpit or lectern. In England, masks are no longer compulsory.
Pentrebychan Crematorium have disabled their outside speaker to discourage more people than permitted arriving as there have been a few instances of groups of friends congregating outside the chapel, thus preventing the families of the next funeral from waiting outside the chapel for their service or having to pass through groups of people after their service. Please do not invite family and friends to stand outside the crematorium chapel.
The Crematoria are disinfecting their chapels between funerals and have hand sanitizer available.
Flintshire Crematorium (Northop) offers live webcasting and/or audio/visual recording of the services. Chester Crematorium offers a free live webcasting of services. We can livestream (subject to 4G availability) and/or make an audio/visual recording of services if wished.
Service/hymn books have been removed from crematorium chapels and in some places of worship in Wales, singing of hymns, soloists, chanting and use of wind instruments is not permitted. We can still provide printed leaflets if you wish for an order of service and many families are choosing to listen to choral recordings of hymns. We are not giving out mourner record of attendance cards and pens at this time.
We have been instructed to not allow mourners to congregate around the coffin or touch the coffin in any manner at the service.
The waiting room at Pentrebychan Crematorium will be closed to the public until further notice. The grounds and book of remembrance room are open to visitors.
Limousines can be provided and carry up to seven passengers.
Wakes: Hospitality venues can open again and are not restricted on numbers.
We ask for your understanding in the increase of obvious use of hygiene procedures and equipment. Whereas we usually prefer to keep this discreet, it is highly important that we follow all current hygiene advice for the safety of both our staff and yourselves.
We understand that some of these measures will make an already upsetting time more difficult. We hope by working together we can still offer a dignified farewell for your loved one.
This is an ever changing situation and we will update this information as and when we know more. Please do contact us if you have any other queries and we will do our utmost to assist you.