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First steps after a death during the Coronavirus pandemic

If a loved one has unfortunately passed away during the current pandemic, there will be a number of steps you will need to take before the funeral can be conducted.

Bringing your loved one into our care

Your funeral director will ask you for details of where your loved one is resting and whether they, or anybody involved in the arrangement, may have had Coronavirus or the associated symptoms.

  • If your loved one died at home, in a hospital, care home or hospice, we will arrange for them to be brought into our care.

  • If your loved one died abroad, your funeral director will talk through your specific circumstances with you and advise if and how we are able to help.

Registering your loved one’s death

You will need to register the death of your loved one within five days from the date of death in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and eight days in Scotland. You can find contact details for your local register office on the GOV.UK website in England and Wales, the Directory of Registrars in Scotland or the General Register Office for Northern Ireland..

In light of current restrictions, your register office will arrange for the Medical Certificate of the Cause of Death (MCCD) to be sent to you without you needing to attend their premises in person. The process may vary depending on where you live, but the register office staff will guide you through what you need to do.

This paperwork will need to be shared with your Funeral Director as part of the arrangement process. They will guide you through when and how you need to share it with them.

The first appointment to discuss funeral arrangements

We are able to offer face-to-face appointments in our funeral homes or telephone appointments.

To ensure the safety of you, your family and our teams, we can only offer telephone appointments to anyone who is self-isolating or has symptoms of Coronavirus.

If you are healthy and choose to visit us face-to-face, we will ensure that social distancing guidelines are employed. We can accommodate a maximum of two people on our premises but are unable to attend a private residence to make funeral arrangements at this time.

Our compassionate and experienced staff will listen to your wishes and guide you through the options available to you, sharing ideas on how to make your service unique, personal and a celebration of your loved one’s life. Despite the restrictions, there are many options available to you for an intimate funeral service during difficult times and a memorial service at a later date, if this is what you would like.

After the first appointment, your funeral director will be in regular contact with you by phone or over email, ensuring that you are kept informed at all times. Whilst we can’t continue these conversations in person at the funeral home, you can rest assured that there will be no compromise on our levels of service or care.

Visiting your loved one in the Chapel of Rest

We understand that you may want to visit your loved one before the day of the funeral. If you would like to do so, your funeral director can guide you through your particular circumstances and the services we are able to provide.

We must limit the numbers attending to a maximum of two at any one time to those living in the same household. Any viewings are for immediate family only and only one viewing will be available. It must also be only during normal business hours and by appointment only

Unfortunately, if your loved one's death was related to Coronavirus, we are unable to allow you to visit the Chapel of Rest in order to prevent further spread of infection.


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