During this challenging time, we at W J Wright Funeral Services are continuing to take the greatest care of you and your family to ensure your safety and to maintain our compliance with the latest regulations whilst arranging funerals. We have implemented contingency plans to ensure we are able to sustain caring for families and the deceased in the coming months.
As the situation continues to change we will adapt accordingly, but right now these are the measures that we have put in place to ensure the wellbeing of everyone.
Safety and Hygiene:
We already operate with the highest levels of safety and hygiene. However, we have implemented additional cleaning routines and procedures in line with guidance from Public Health England to ensure the safety of our staff and all visitors.
We are able to work remotely which means that no face-to-face contact is needed. As the Government has asked us all to self-isolate, meeting with a funeral director is not advised. We are confident that we can arrange funeral services remotely via telephone, email and, if you prefer to talk to our Funeral Director we can use video messaging services like WhatsApp or video conferencing apps such as Zoom if you’d like to discuss your requirements as a group.
However this may not be suitable for some families and we are able to offer face-to-face appointments in the office however we are restricted to three persons attending and face masks, hand sanitisation and social distancing rules must apply:
- stay at least 2 metres away from others outside your household or support bubble
- wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser
- avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
- when coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue and throw away the tissue safely. If you do not have a tissue, use the crook of your elbow (not hands) to cough or sneeze into
- wear a face covering, as required by law.
Obviously, to ensure the safety of everyone, we will only offer telephone appointments to anyone who is self-isolating or has symptoms of Coronavirus. Please rest assured you will receive the same high level of service and care for which we are renowned and we are available to answer your questions and guide you through every step.
Arranging a Funeral:
- We have procedures in place that will ensure we can still arrange a funeral with you, even If you are affected by COVID-19 or you are self-isolating. Please call us to discuss your requirements.
- If you have a funeral plan – nothing changes with how it is used or what it covers. There may be some limitations imposed in some areas of the service in order for us to adhere to the latest government guidelines.
- We will do our utmost to provide you with the funeral service that you want. However, there will be some areas where restrictions based upon government guidelines may be in place. For example, services should be limited to 30 people, however, in some service locations the maximum number of mourners who can attend may be curtailed by the size of the premises. We will provide you with clear guidance on what is possible during any arrangements.
Caring for someone who has died with COVID-19:
We are experienced and prepared to take care of people who have died under all circumstances, including with COVID-19. At all times we will look after your loved one in a caring and dignified manner.
Due to the risk of infection to ourselves and to you we are not able to accommodate any chapel of rest visits.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Are funerals being delayed?
Funerals are currently being arranged as usual and we aren’t experiencing any unusually long delays. The situation may change, however, and there may be some impact on timings depending on your location and desired venue.
Delays and flexibility on timings are possible but limited, and we will do everything we can to find a date that suits you whilst adhering to Public Health England. However, you need to be aware that delaying may mean that, rather than there being fewer restrictions in place, more restrictions may be announced in the future based on the Government guidance at that time.
Can I Travel to and from a funeral?
People in the same support bubble can stay overnight with each other as they count as one household. Hotels may also remain open for the purposes of providing accommodation for anyone attending a funeral or commemorative event. Anyone who does not live in the same household or support bubble should remain socially distanced within the accommodation.
You should travel to the venue in private transport by yourself or with people from your household or support bubble. If this is not possible, you must not car share with those outside your household or support bubble. You are advised to follow safe travel guidance:
- keeping to a small group of your household or support bubble if you need to use public transport
- opening windows for fresh air
- considering seating arrangements to maximise the distance between people in the vehicle
- travelling side-by-side or behind other people, rather than facing them, where seating arrangements allow
- facing away from each other
- making sure the car is cleaned between journeys using standard cleaning products, particularly door handles and other areas that people may touch
- wearing a face covering. You are required by law to wear a face covering on public transport, in taxis and private hire vehicles unless you are exempt for health, disability or other reasons. Passengers who are not exempt are legally required to wear a face covering when travelling in a funeral director’s vehicle. A face covering is also strongly recommended for drivers.
Can I travel to the UK to attend a funeral?
If you have travelled to England from any country that is not exempt from the requirement to self-isolate, you are required to self-isolate from arrival and for the first full 10 days after you arrive. However, you can leave your place of self-isolation in limited circumstances, including on compassionate grounds. This includes attending a funeral of a household member, a close family member or a friend (if neither household member nor close family member can attend the funeral).
You must continue to self-isolate at all other times.
How many people can attend the funeral?
In order to adhere to government guidelines on social distancing, a maximum of 30 mourners are allowed to attend a funeral service at most crematoria and cemeteries throughout the UK, however this is dependent upon the size of the venue. We will be able to provide you with the most up to date guidance on your preferred venue during any arrangements.
People with symptoms of COVID-19 should not attend
Anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 (a new continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell), should not attend a funeral. You should immediately self-isolate, follow the stay at home guidance and request a test.
If you are legally required to self-isolate, you may only break self-isolation if attending the funeral of a close family member (for example, a partner, parent, sibling or grandparent). You must not break your isolation to attend other commemorative events under any circumstance. This would be a legal offence and you may be fined. You must otherwise continue to self-isolate unless there are other circumstances present that legally allow you not to.
Even if you are a close family member of the deceased, we strongly recommend that you attend remotely if possible. In most venues we are able to provide a video stream of the funeral and have already done so successfully. This allows those who are unable to attend to feel part of the ceremony.
However, if after careful consideration of the risk, you choose to attend a funeral in person, it is essential that you take all of the following precautions:
- advise the funeral venue manager and other mourners in advance that you are in your self-isolation period. It is a legal requirement for a venue manager to complete a risk assessment and take all reasonable measures to limit the risk of transmission of COVID-19. Other mourners need to be aware of this prior to attending
- take extra care to keep your distance and avoid contact with another mourner who may be clinically vulnerable or clinically extremely vulnerable
- maintain a distance of at least 2 metres at all times between yourself and other mourners
Practise strict hand and respiratory hygiene by:
- wearing a surgical-grade Type IIR face mask or higher grade, properly fitting, to minimise any risk of viral transmission from yourself to others. If a respirator mask is used (for example N95), this should be non-valved. Type IIR masks are widely available from pharmacies, supermarkets and online retailers. We advise you to provide your own face mask, but those organising the funeral may also want to ensure they have some in stock
- washing your hands more often than usual with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or using a hand sanitiser
- avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- covering your coughs or sneezes
What are the restrictions at a funeral?
You must wear a mask when attending indoor places of worship, crematoria and burial ground chapels unless you are exempt for health, disability or other reasons. You should also wear a face covering in other enclosed public spaces where social distancing may be difficult and where you may come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
You must avoid singing, shouting, chanting and raising your voice because this may increase the risk of airborne transmission of the virus. We are able to provide recorded copies of any hymns or music that you may require.
Can I arrange and attend a commemorative event?
During the national lockdown, no more than 6 people can attend commemorative events such as stone setting ceremonies, the scattering of ashes or a wake. This limit applies both indoors and outdoors and does not include anyone working at the event.
Crematoria and burial grounds will be open to the public and you are permitted to leave your home to visit these locations. You should always stay socially distanced from anyone outside your household or support bubble.
Can we still visit the deceased in the Chapel of Rest?
This is still possible, but there are several changes and restrictions in place. We are doing all we can to support our clients and families with these services and it is always best to ask us what is available to you at the time.
Unfortunately, if your loved one’s death was related to Coronavirus, we are unable to allow you to visit the Chapel of Rest in order to prevent further spread of infection.
Do I need to attend the Registration Office in person to register the death?
You will still need to register the death of your loved one within five days from the date of death in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and eight days in Scotland.
In light of current restrictions, your register office will arrange for the registration to be completed over the telephone without any need to attend at their offices. A Certified copy of the Death Register (“Death Certificates”) will be posted to you.
The Certificate for Burial or Cremation will be emailed to us directly from the Registrar and this will enable us to proceed with the necessary arrangements.
What if a crematoria has to close?
If your chosen crematoria is forced to close we will work with you to find an alternative that is local and suitable for your requirements.
Will the return of ashes be delayed?
Currently, we continue to manage the return of ashes as normal.
Can I still purchase a Funeral Plan?
Yes, you can still purchase a Funeral Plan. An appointment can be arranged in the usual way.