Face coverings change for English funeral directors 8/8/20

August 3, 2020   //   No Comments

From 8th August, funeral directors’ premises and places of worship in England will no longer be exempt from the requirement to wear a face covering indoors, according to a Cabinet Office update on 31st July.

This means people visiting funeral homes will be required by law to wear a face covering in these settings. The rules state that “visitors are expected to wear a face covering immediately before entering any of these settings and must keep it on” until they leave. However, it is not compulsory for employees in indoor settings to wear face coverings. Full information about these changes can be found here.  

The Cabinet Office also recommends that “face coverings are worn in these settings now but this will not be mandatory until 8th August. Further information will be available soon. You are also strongly encouraged to wear a face covering in other enclosed public spaces where social distancing may be difficult and where you come into contact with people you do not normally meet.”

SAIF advises members that the above guidance could mean that an increasing number of funeral service venues will require mourners to wear face coverings during services. Please check with local crematoria and other locations in order to advise bereaved families accordingly.

A face covering is defined as “something which safely covers the nose and mouth. You can buy reusable or single-use face coverings. You may also use a scarf, bandana, religious garment or hand-made cloth covering but these must securely fit round the side of the face.”

There are also exemptions which permit people to remove a face covering or avoid wearing one. These are: 
– young children under the age of 11 (Public Health England do not recommended face coverings for children under the age of 3 for health and safety reasons)not being able to put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
– if putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress
– if you are travelling with or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading to communicate
– to avoid harm or injury, or the risk of harm or injury, to yourself or others
– to avoid injury, or to escape a risk of harm, and you do not have a face covering with you
– to eat or drink if reasonably necessary
– in order to take medication
– if a police officer or other official requests you remove your face covering.

The rules on face coverings should be read in conjunction with wider social distancing advice, which can be viewed here.

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