Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQs
1. Can I still arrange a funeral?
Yes, we are still arranging funerals and we will continue to care for and attend to your loved one right up to the day of the funeral service. We’re here when you need us most - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
In the current conditions we’d prefer all contact to be by phone or email, however, if you need to arrange a funeral at one of our funeral homes there are a few questions that we’d need to ask you first. Please contact your local funeral home and we will arrange an appointment for you to come in.
Your safety and ours is our top priority, and we can also arrange funerals for people who have died from the coronavirus (COVID-19) either at home or in an NHS facility. Our equipment, processes, and teams are all prepared and in line with official guidelines.
2. I’m self-isolating but need to arrange a funeral
If you are self-isolating, we’ll need to ask you some questions over the phone to make sure we’re giving you the best advice and guidance on what to do next. We can email and/or post any documents you’ll need for the funeral arrangements.
3. How have funeral services changed?
It’s essential for your safety and ours that we follow the most up-to-date government advice. This may mean that the funerals we arrange are different to how you or your loved one may have wanted them, but we’ll be doing all we can to help you say goodbye.
To maintain our levels of care to clients and colleagues, unfortunately there are number of changes that we have to make to our service:
- The Church of England, Scotland and Wales and Catholic Diocese have stopped taking services or are closed until further notice which means we can no longer include a church service in funeral arrangements.
- Service locations are restricting the number of mourners that can attend, we can advise you of local availability.
- Only direct relatives should attend the funeral service (spouse/partner, parent, child, sibling).
- Anyone from higher risk groups (over 70s, pregnant, or with a lung condition – see the full list here) should not attend.
- We’re unable to take prints for jewellery if the death is due to coronavirus.
- We ask that any donations are made direct to the chosen charity or organisation online, we are unable to manage donation collections on your behalf or provide a donation collection box.
- We’re unable to arrange floral tributes – instead we can offer a silk flower arrangement which can be placed on top of the coffin.
- We’re unable to provide additional transport (including limousines) other than a traditional hearse.
4. Should I still go to a funeral I am due to attend?
You should check with the person who’s arranging the funeral first, as some plans may change.
If you are attending a funeral, please continue to follow the government advice ensuring you wash your hands regularly or use hand sanitiser gel if that’s all you have access to.
As hard as it may be to do so, it is important to also avoid close contact with other mourners.
5. My local Midcounties Co-operative Funeral home is closed – what should I do?
Unfortunately, some of our funeral homes may be temporarily closed. You can call us on 0800 454940 for more information.
6. Can I delay a funeral for a later date, when the isolation restrictions have been lifted?
It’s not clear how long these current social distancing restrictions will remain in place, and restrictions may become stronger still if the situation continues to deteriorate. Therefore, current guidance is that funerals should take place now rather than being delayed.
You may want to think about holding a celebration of life or a memorial service at a later date when restrictions have been lifted and we’ll give you all the help you need with this.
7. Are there restrictions for someone who’s died from coronavirus?
There are no current restrictions preventing someone who has died from coronavirus having a funeral, including cremations and burials. If this changes, we’ll provide updates on our website.
8. Can you live stream or record funerals?
Live streaming or recording facilities may be available for family and friends who can’t attend, but this will depend on your location. Speak to your funeral director to discuss this.
9. Can I still visit my loved one while they’re in your care?
Immediate family (spouse/partner, parents, children, siblings) can currently visit their loved ones in our care. To comply with government guidance, we are asking for a maximum of two visitors to a funeral home at a time. If more of you wish to attend, we ask that you remain outside and take it in turn to enter the building. Anyone advised to self-isolate or showing coronavirus symptoms cannot attend our premises.
If your loved one is suspected or confirmed as having coronavirus (COVID-19) we will not be able to offer our normal services of viewing of your loved one. We could arrange for immediate family members to sit with the closed coffin as an alternative, and again restricted to direct relatives (as stated above) limited to two people at a time.
10. I am having difficulty paying for a funeral or a funeral plan
We know a funeral can often be an unexpected cost. If during the funeral arrangement, you feel like the funeral is costing more than you are comfortable with, please let us know immediately and we will do all we can to assist you.
11. What if items in my funeral plan are no longer available due to coronavirus?
The situation is constantly changing. If there are limitations to the services we are offering, we’ll work with you to address this.
12. Can I still follow religious customs?
We’re expecting some of the funerals we arrange to be affected by the current situation. We have to follow government advice to keep you and our team as safe as possible.
We’re here to help you say goodbye, so please speak to your funeral director who will talk you through the options available.
13. Will there be hygiene measures in place if I visit a funeral home?
Yes. We’re limiting the amount of people visiting our funeral homes, there are hand washing and hand sanitising facilities available, and we’re following government advice on social distancing.
Our standards of hygiene are always high, and they will continue to be so.