Funeral guidance during the coronavirus crisis
A Dorset funeral group is advising those who have lost loved ones about how things have changed since the coronavirus crisis began.
Douch Family Funeral Directors run seven branches in the county and are the key workers that no one wants to use.
Managing director Nick Douch says that people need to be aware how funerals now operate so they are prepared should a loved one pass away.
He is also backing the online campaign to encourage people to remove their hats and bow when a funeral procession drives past.
He said: “Unlike weddings, funerals have not been banned, but there are restrictions.
“Government guidelines say there ought to be a maximum of ten mourners at a funeral.
“With churches and other religious centres closed, that really applies to the crematoria – or for burials in a cemetery or churchyard.
Social distancing measures in place
“Social distancing must also be observed during funerals, which can be difficult at a time of great sadness when people instinctively want to embrace.
“We are sending the minimum number of staff to each funeral – essentially the funeral director and two others to move the coffin on a trolley.
“Mourners at crematoria are being asked to remain in their cars until the funeral begins because the waiting rooms are closed.
“Although many who want to be at funerals can’t attend them, there is the facility to live stream services, which many people are taking advantage of.
“Our limousines are not being used to reduce the risk of spreading the virus and, if someone’s death is suspected of being coronavirus-related, sadly there is no opportunity to view the body.
“All the paperwork and registration can now be done online, with forms being filled in digitally, and the death certificates are being sent by post.
“This is something we’ve been calling for and hopefully it will remain when the crisis is over as it is much easier for everyone.
“We have been asked whether funerals can be held over until the restrictions are lifted, but this is not practicable because of reasons of capacity.
Small gesture of respect
“It is an especially difficult time for people whose loved ones have died and that is one reason why we are backing the campaign to encourage people to stop, remove their hats and bow when a funeral goes past.
“This tradition used to be more widely practised and we would love to see more people help to revive it.”
A more extensive guide on arranging a funeral during the Coronavirus Emergency can be found here