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Castle House Funeral Home, 86 Teehey Lane, Bebington, Wirral, CH63 8QU
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FUNERAL ADVICE RE COVID 19 FUNERAL RESTRICTIONS AND ADVICE IN WIRRAL AND CHESTER AREAS

 Making your business COVID-19 secure | www.wirral.gov.uk  Supporting Wirral businesses to be certified 'Covid-secure' | Wirral view
Due to the current global pandemic, we feel it is our duty in the interest of health and safety to inform people of guidelines we will be following from the week commencing 23rd March 2020. 

We will continue to arrange funeral services, and as ever are here to help and assist you wherever you are 24 hrs a day.

In the interest of public health, and following advisories from the government and public health officials the following rulings must be complied with for the forseeable future.
We do not want to appear to be impersonal, and will continue to do all we can to make such difficult times as easy as possible, but have to work around health and safety measures. We are putting our own health at risk to help the public, so please do understand that we are not trying to be difficult, but infact are doing all we can to help you, and most of these regulations are not set by ourselves, however your health and our staff's health has to be priority.

Local crematorium's are restricting the number of mourners allowed to attend funeral services to a maximum of 30 people.

The latest Government guidance strongly encourages people to wear a face covering in enclosed public spaces and in line with the new national guidance, from Monday 10th August 2020 guests attending funeral services within Wirral Council chapels will be required to wear a face covering.

 

It is requested that Funeral Directors inform their clients of the need to wear face coverings within any enclosed public space, including chapels The wearing of face coverings for outside areas within the cemeteries only, will not be a requirement but will be advisory for guests attending burial services at graveside.

 

Guests should bring and wear their own face covering when they are attending a service. 

 

It is important to note that the wearing of face coverings does not replace the need for continued adherence to guidance on other measures for controlling the spread of the coronavirus, eg minimum 2m distancing, good hand hygiene, good ventilation, cleaning between services, screens etc.  The chapels will therefore continue to observe existing social distancing measures (being able to accommodate a maximum number of 30 attendees at any one time within Landican Crematorium and Cemetery Chapels) however, please remember that due to the reduced size of Frankby Cemetery chapel together with the need for social distancing between attendees and family groupings, that this may limit the attendance capacity below 30 attendees.

 

We fully appreciate how upsetting this may be for families attending funerals and we are grateful for the continued assistance of Funeral directors, clergy and celebrants who are continuing to  support families in observing  Government guidance during these extremely challenging times.

Following the recent Government announcements we are pleased to be able to confirm some amendments to the current protocol for attending funerals at Landican Crematorium and all of our Cemeteries.


  • From 6th July we are able to increase the number of mourners who are able to attend a funeral on our sites from 15 to a maximum of 30.  This maximum number of mourners does include people outside the chapels too.

  • Due to the potential for increased spread of COVID-19 guidance advices that funerals should have no more than 30 people in attendance and that social distancing should be strictly adhered to.
  • People should act in a safe and responsible way in order to reduce the spread of infection in our communities.
  • This increase to the numbers who are able to attend a funeral will be monitored in conjunction with the local R factors and government advice over the next 4 weeks.


Please be aware that if deemed necessary for the safety of our staff and all visitors to our sites – including your staff and members of the public – we will make amendments to these numbers to ensure we can mitigate the risk of transmission of COVID-19.


I hope this news can bring some comfort to the families you are currently planning funerals with and that it will ease some of the pressure we know you have been under in managing the numbers attending funerals.
 
The latest information from Chester Crematorium (Blacon) as of 2/7/2020
Who can attend funerals?

This is a question that is being asked more and more at the moment as lockdown restrictions are eased.  At the moment however the position for funerals remains unchanged within the government guidance (link below).  So the only people who should be attending funerals alongside the Funeral Director, Chapel Attendant and funeral staff are;

·         Members of the person’s household

·         Close family members

·         Or if the above are unable to attend, close friends

·         Attendance of a celebrant of choice, should the bereaved request this

When accommodating the above persons our maximum capacity within the chapel is 30, people outside the scope of the above should not be in attendance.


https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do-after-4-july (1.16 relates to funerals)


Limousine's have not been available to hire as part of a funeral cortege, to avoid people sitting in enclosed spaces together for any length of time in distances less than 2m apart. 
FROM THE WEEK COMMENCING JUNE 22ND 2020
(FOR PEOPLE LIVING IN THE SAME HOUSEHOLD & BUBBLE ONLY) 
RESTRICTIONS MAY BE EASED, SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATE PPE BEING WORN BY ANYONE TRAVELLING IN LIMOUSINES INCLUDING THE DRIVER.  

Advice CURRENTLY is STILL to meet at crematorium's, and remain in vehicles until the funeral service is due to commence wherever possible. Our funeral corteges can  travel along a pre determined route, with people following in their own vehicles if they so wish.

Coffins must only be taken into chapels or to gravesides by funeral directors only, and must not be carried on shoulders, to abide with social distancing rules
As of 26 June 
 We at Laurence Jones will now endeavour to carry coffins on shoulders either through our staff or with members of the public should they express a wish to carry.

Under usual circumstances it is relatively normal for 4 or 6 people to carry a coffin on shoulders however, following health and safety measures for those carrying coffins we will on occasion use a wheel bier on coffins that are either particularly heavy or where the deceased died of Covid19, and will assess each situation accordingly.

The latest email from Wirral Borough Council outlines this below: 
As you will be aware we have been regularly reviewing our protocol to ensure we are adhering to the most recent Government legislation throughout the Coronavirus pandemic.

 

In light of this we are pleased to be able to inform you that we are able to update the current policy on carrying of coffins.

Following a review, and implementation of additional safety measures within the crematorium, to reduce the risk of potential transfer of Covid to staff when transferring a coffin we can confirm that the restriction on carrying has been changed to ‘Advisory’ status.

 

From today, Friday 26th June it is for the Funeral Director, in conjunction with the deceased’s family if deemed appropriate, to assess the risk in permitting people to be in close proximity of each other whilst carrying a coffin. The Funeral Director has the autonomy to decide if the coffin can be carried and by whom. If you prefer for coffins to still be wheeled in and out of the Chapel that is perfectly acceptable.

Hymn books have been removed from crematorium chapels to reduce the risk of people spreading germs. 
Church services had been cancelled in England, however some Churches are now going to open to allow Funerals in Church again, with restrictions on numbers attending, and/or PPE being worn. Not all Churches will be open just yet, so we can't assume that because one is that they all will be, each Church will have it's own rules!

All Funeral Arrangements are to be made over the telephone or by email, and where possible forms to be signed and emailed also. 
Where this is not possible forms may be signed at our office, or a home address just to obtain a quick signature, and by wearing appropriate PPE and observing appropriate social distancing measures at all times by appointment only and the rest of the arrangements made by telephone or email.

Chapel visits are by appointment only, and are restricted to 2 people only per visit and for up to half an hour, as inbetween visits we now have to deep clean the funeral home to reduce the risk of contamination.
If it isn't essential government guidelines are to stay in wherever possible, but we will always accommodate you wherever we can.

Please ring 0151 608 8503 or 0151 327 4299 for further help and advice.
We are here to help whenever you need.
Respectfully, all at Laurence Jones Funeral Directors

LATEST INFORMATION RE REGISTERING A DEATH
The Coronavirus Act 2020 has received Royal Assent therefore Cheshire West and Chester and Wirral Registration Service are modifying the way deaths are registered.

FUNERALS AT CHESTER CREMATORIUM AS OF 16/7/2020
Important Update – funerals at Chester crematorium and Council cemeteries Test and Trace We are supporting NHS Test and Trace and will be collecting details and maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors who enter our premises including the crematorium. These details will be shared with the NHS, only where necessary, to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The details will be destroyed after 21 days. We have developed an online form for this purpose which can be filled out in advance by those planning to attend a funeral service at the crematorium.
 https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/CCBlacon/ It is designed to make the process as easy and convenient for the families and friends of the deceased. It also removes the unwanted distraction of the bereaved having to provide contact details on arrival at the crematorium. Please make your clients aware of the online form which is available here and encourage them to share the link with those who are planning to attend a service. The form allows individuals to enter their own details and those of their friends and family who plan to attend a funeral service at the crematorium. You may complete the form on your client’s behalf if they so wish. How many people may attend a funeral? The previous restriction which limited attendance at a funeral to members of the person’s household, close family members, or if no-one from the household or the close family are attending, a friend, has been removed. However restrictions in terms of the number of people who may attend funerals apply. A modest number of family and friends of the deceased may now attend a funeral subject to a maximum of 30. Social distancing still needs to be observed and for services indoors the maximum number of mourners, is governed by the number that can be safely accommodated at the venue. The maximum number of mourners permitted at the crematorium continues to be a maximum of 30. We would be grateful if you could advise families of this. In addition please take steps as necessary to help ensure numbers attending do not exceed 30. Please note, if more than 30 mourners attend a burial or cremation, we may report it to the authorities or take further action ourselves as this is now classed as an illegal gathering. Please continue to draw your clients’ attention to the guidance on staying safe and social distancing: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/staying-alert-and-safe-socialdistancing/staying-alert-and-safe-social-distancing-after-4-julyRegistrar's staff will now be registering deaths by telephone and green forms will be sent electronically to the relevant crematorium, not given to families to give to funeral directors.


Provision – To allow local authorities to continue to provide a registration service without the need for face to face contact.

➢ If it is no longer possible for the Local Authority to continue to provide facilities for face to face registration, it will be possible for information for a DEATH or STILLBIRTH registration by telephone .

➢ With the addition of funeral directors all existing qualified informants will be acceptable for telephone registration.

➢ If a local authority wishes to register by some other means than telephone e.g. electronically, proposals should be made to GRO before any work is undertaken.

➢ Birth registration processes and protocols are NOT affected (Please note death registration and the issue of Greens take priority at this time)

 

 Provision – To enable a funeral director, who is working on behalf of the family, to act as informant for the death registration.

➢ The provision for a funeral director to act as a qualified informant is in addition to the normal list of qualified informants.

➢ It is possible that family members, or others eligible to act as informant, may be ill or otherwise prevented from registering the death.

➢ A funeral director can only act as informant with the agreement of the deceased’s family.

➢ A funeral director can act as informant, on numerous registrations, and can supply the information for the registration by telephone.

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