November 4th 2020
The guidance from government and how we interpret it evolves constantly and therefore this page is regularly updated. The following is a brief and simple review of where we currently stand:-
Funerals have not suffered a significant impact compared to other factors in our lives and therefore any person should feel confident that a proper and meaningful funeral service can be arranged.
All our locations/offices remain open and very few of the services we provide have been stopped altogether.
The well-known key issues relating to the virus are much the same for us, i.e. any person who knows she or he is infected should stay at home and not attend a funeral or our premises for any other reason.
From 8th August 2020 (Saturday) face masks must be worn while indoors in any public area. This means that face masks must be worn to all funeral services and when visiting any of our offices.
Visiting our Chapels of Rest
Visiting our chapels of rest to see the person that has died prior to the day of the funeral continues as normal as does dressing the deceased in their own clothes and any treatment that is deemed necessary. This remains the case even if the deceased is suspected to have been infected with COVID-19 although restrictions will apply.
Number of Mourners Attending a Funeral
The number of people attending a funeral should be kept to a low number. The advised maximum is 30 mourners and this depends upon the location. This can be increased in some circumstances, subject to risk-assessment and agreed management and may involve the use of a second ceremony hall into which the AV is relayed.
It is essential we are advised of the anticipated number of mourners in advance of confirming funeral arrangements. Some funeral locations have lower maximum numbers and our own Ceremony Halls are of differing sizes with their own limits.
We provide live AV relay of funeral services via the internet for funerals taking place in The Barn and the Long Barrow at Harbour View. This must be arranged well in advance.
Content of a Funeral Service
There is no restriction on who should lead a funeral service or who should assist in taking part of a funeral service. Government guidance is to avoid singing hymns. At Harbour View we have a full library of music including hymns sung by professional choirs and therefore our recommendation, in keeping with the spirit of government guidance, is that when hymns are desirable, the words are printed in an Order of Service and that mourners remain seated, reading them quietly to themselves while listening to the choir.
Coffin Bearers and Funeral Vehicles
Coffin bearers: Our own professional bearers continue to shoulder-carry the coffin. Voluntary bearers may assist/carry the coffin at Harbour View but some other locations have restrictions.
Funeral vehicles: Although available, we are currently discouraging clients from the use of funeral limousines. Due to the close proximity of mourners, this protects both members of the public and staff. If a limousine is used, it is mandatory that face coverings are worn whilst in the vehicle.
Refreshments / Wakes
Unfortunately we cannot currently offer refreshments. This will be reviewed after the latest national lockdown restrictions have been eased. At Harbour View, we will still be providing an area for family and friends to congregate prior to the funeral where hot and cold drinks are freely available. Please note that this is not intended for the purpose of guests to have a wake type gathering.
Facilities at Harbour View
Our floristry is open and fully functional.
Our memorial masonry is open and fully functional.
Arrangements for scattering and /or burial of cremated remains continue.
Social Distancing and General Advice
We will endeavour to provide 2 meters of space however with the additional safeguards we have in place there will be occasions when this is limited to 1 meter. We ask those attending funeral services to sit in groups as per acceptable ‘bubbles’/’household groups’ but it is not for us to establish proof of this or to enforce the ruling.
We provide sanitising handwash. Please wash your hands by using this when attending our premises, in particular when attending a funeral service.
Please visit our offices when necessary and consider whether it is possible to deal with your enquiry without physically attending, e.g. in memoriam donations can be made online as can ordering floral tributes.
Test and Trace
Please sign into all premises using the QR codes provided via the NHS COVID-19 app. This applies when visiting our offices and Harbour View. If you do not already have the NHS COVID-19 app on your mobile device, you can find it here:
If you do not have a device that is capable of scanning a QR code you will be asked to complete a paper slip that will ask for your name and telephone number. In the interest of preventing cross contamination complete slips using your own pen.