Questions about funerals during Covid-19 (updated)

funerals during covid-19 | funerals and coronavirus | london funeral directors

Four minute read

Updated 19 July 2021

We’ve put together this list of answers to common questions covering funerals, commemorative events and wakes, family visits, and alternative ceremonies. We will continue to do our absolute best to keep this resource up-to-date as government guidance changes.

What are the current restrictions on holding a funeral?

There is now no legal limit on the maximum of people who can attend a funeral or legal restrictions relating to wearing masks and social distancing.

However, the latest government guidelines state that "those attending, arranging or managing such events should consider that it may be harder to manage the risk of spreading Covid-19 if spaces are crowded, and venue operators may choose to set their own limits" and the government "expects and recommends" people to continue to wear face coverings in crowded areas.

We also continue to take into account precautions for minimising the risk of transmission, including:

  1. The need to protect at-risk groups.
  2. Avoiding large gatherings of people.
  3. Avoiding unnecessary physical contact.
  4. Good hand hygiene.

If government guidance changes, we will share any information that could affect your funeral plans and go over how we can help with alternatives. As always, we’ll be guided by your wants and needs, and do everything we can to make your ideas happen.

What about commemorative events, such as scattering ashes, wakes and stone settings?

As with funerals, the government guidelines have been updated and there is now no maximum limit on the number of people who can attend a wake or commemorative event.

Can I safely spend time with someone who has died of Covid-19?

There isn’t a straightforward ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer to this question. You will need to use personal protective equipment (PPE) and keep a safe distance. This situation can feel very challenging for anyone who wants to have a family visit, and we’ll do everything we can to help.

It may be comforting to remember that we have been supporting family and friends in this situation since the start of the pandemic, and we have previous experience caring for people who have died with contagious respiratory illnesses, such as Tuberculosis. We follow government guidelines on caring for people safely and can keep you up to date on advice about Covid-19.

Visits can continue. This means that you can still come to our beautiful mortuary and spend time with the person who has died. We’ve put plans in place to look after your safety as best we can. Our team will provide you with full PPE and talk you through other safety measures.

You and your doctor are best placed to decide whether you’re in the at-risk category for Covid-19, and may not wish to visit. If you aren’t comfortable coming in person, we can arrange to use video conferencing software so you can still say goodbye.

How is Poppy's responding to the change in guidelines?

In order to keep our team and clients as safe as possible, we are continuing to take some precautions, such as wearing masks whilst inside and ventilating our offices as much as we can.

We're sure you understand our need to remain cautious as restrictions are lifted — the last thing we would want to do is be responsible for passing Covid-19 on to any of the clients we are supporting.

Dignified and thoughtful care for everyone

We believe that kind, dignified and thoughtful care should still be at the forefront of everything we do, while continuing to follow government guidelines. This means that we will give the exact same level of care to anyone who has died with Covid-19.

No matter how the situation changes, our values of openness, flexibility and responsibility will remain the same. We’ll work together to meet this challenge, and be here for you every step of the way.

We also understand that grieving during this time can be different and difficult, here, grief therapist Julia Samuel shares her thoughts on looking after your mental health during Covid-19.

If you have any other questions or would like to talk more about these issues, please do give us a call on 020 3589 4726.

Discover more articles