Funeral Services COVID -19 Emergency Measures
Facemasks/Facecoverings are mandatory for all services at Hastings cemetery and crematorium
The Government has advised that, in order to contain the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) people need to limit social contact and avoid non-essential travel where possible.
Following the Government update on Saturday 18 th April 2020 regarding social distancing and cemeteries; we have re-opened the cemetery.
These are closed to the public expect for those attending a Burial or Cremation service.
The cemetery will now be open for people to visit graves 7 days a week.
The entrance and exit gates will be open during our normal working hours and they will be opened on the weekend.
We will also unlock the gates to the babies section daily.
On the weekend the toilets and all other buildings will remain closed. Please be aware of this before you visit.
Attending a funeral
Please be aware that the attendance of any service must be as low as possible to ensure a safe distance of at least 2 meters (6ft) can be maintained between individuals.
Currently the regulations allow the family to attend a funeral but under special guidance, the current situation at Hastings is that;
- Anyone who is unwell with the symptoms of Coronavirus should not attend
- Those attending must always follow the social distancing measures and keep a distance on 2m where ever possible.
- The funeral should only be attended by close family members and numbers need to be restricted to as few as possible.
- We currently can accommodate 20 people 15 being seated and up to 5 standing in our main chapel room, the floor has been marked to guide where people can stand and maintain a 2m distance.
- We can allow 9 seated and 1 standing in our over-flow chapel.
- Those not in the same household must sit apart.
- The chairs should not be moved from their marked positions.
- When the coffin is placed in the chapel the gates will be closed and we respectfully ask that no person attending should go up and touch the coffin. The curtains need to be closed at the end of the service to discourage people approaching after the service.
- There is hand sanitizer available via a dispenser facing the entrance to the chapel.
- There is a toilet available for use. Access is restricted to 1 person at a time. There is a professional cleaner who is cleaning the chapel between services and cleaning the toilet and other surfaces throughout the day.
- No singing is permitted at the moment, and the use of the organ has been suspended.
If the person has no family then in this situation a small number of close friends would be permitted instead, but social distancing measures must always be observed.
For information about an individual funeral, we will direct you to the Funeral Director making the arrangements.
Please be aware that we may have been requested not to give out information.
Families should also be advised to follow the Government’s advice to stay at home for 14 days if they show symptoms or live with somebody who is showing symptoms. Those over 70, with an underlying health problem, or pregnant women are particularly encouraged to heed this advice. This may mean that they may have to miss the funeral, or hold the funeral, or have a memorial service at a later date.
The government has advised that:
- Mourners should also follow the advice on social distancing when travelling to and from the funeral gathering
- Mourners who are self-isolating for 14 days due to someone in their household being unwell with symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) but are not symptomatic themselves should be facilitated to attend the funeral in person should they wish to do so, with processes put in place to minimise the risk of transmission
- Mourners who are clinically vulnerable or in a shielded group should also be facilitated to attend, with processes put in place to minimise the risk of transmission
- Any mourner who is showing coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms (a new continuous cough or a high temperature) should not attend the funeral as they pose a risk to others; remote participation should be considered
If you are planning to come to a funeral and you are affected by any of the above you should read the new guidance beforehand to make a decision.
The full guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-managing-a-funeral-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic/covid-19-guidance-for-managing-a-funeral-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic
For the position of what is lawful under the social distancing rules you should refer specifically to the Regulations
In line with the governments advice we have a number of measures in place when you attend.
Access to public areas and cleaning
The crematorium chapel and chapel side toilets are open for those attending a funeral.
The crematorium chapel is being cleaned and sanitized by a professional cleaner between services and the toilets and the hand rails around the building being cleaned once the funeral party has entered the building.
A hand sanitizer dispenser has been placed on the left hand wall as you enter the chapel.
The flower area is still accessible for the placement of flowers after the service.
The seating in the chapel has been spaced apart to enable social distancing.
Cemetery and Crematorium Office
The office is closed to the public. Please call 01424 451057 or email us at Cemandcrem@hastings.gov.uk