Sector-wide advice on limiting attendance at funerals

March 25, 2020   //   No Comments

A group of seven organisations representing the funeral, burial
and cremation sector has issued joint guidance on the number of mourners
attending funerals following the Government’s announcement on limiting
attendance to immediate family only.

The Deceased Management Advisory Group (DMAG), which is regularly
liaising with government on the sector’s response to COVID-19, comprises the
National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF);
Association of Private Crematoria and Cemeteries (APCC), Federation of Burial
and Cremation Authorities (FBCA); Funeral Furnishing Manufacturers’ Association
(FFMA); Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management (ICCM); The Cremation
Society; and the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD).

The members of DMAG are aware of the important and central role of
the funeral ritual to the grieving process for many families. However, during
these extremely challenging times the transmission of the coronavirus at
funeral gatherings to the elderly, frail, those in vulnerable groups along with
funeral directors and crematorium staff cannot be overlooked.

DMAG now recommends that funeral services consider limiting
attendees to members of the immediate family who are not in any of the
high-risk categories and are not self-isolating. The immediate family
being:   

  • Spouse/Partner
  • Parents/carers
  • Brothers/Sisters
  • Children (and partners)

Limiting attendees must be done sensitively and taking into
account individual circumstances. For example, if the deceased person had few,
if any immediate, relatives but close a friend wished to attend the service,
that would be reasonable – or in the case of the death of a grandparent,
attendance by the grandchildren would be appropriate.

DMAG has urged the whole funeral and bereavement sector to work
closely in support of each other to deliver, as far as is possible in these
difficult times, a meaningful opportunity for the bereaved to say goodbye,
whilst endeavouring to protect all those involved.

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