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Covid-19 Pandemic - FAQs

Dignity Funerals is continuously monitoring and responding to this outbreak and advice from the UK Government. This Q&A will be updated as more is known about COVID-19, how it spreads and how it is affecting people.

Key topics

Arranging a funeral

Can I arrange a funeral?

Yes. We’re able to arrange funerals as we normally do, providing high standards of care and service for families and their loved ones. 

We are attempting to provide as many of our services as possible but there are some restrictions in place to meet the government's social distancing guidelines - for example most crematoria are allowing a maximum of 10 mourners to attend a service. The situation is changing regularly and in the coming weeks there may be additional limitations to the services we can offer and arrangements already underway may have to change.  

If you need to arrange a funeral, give us a call and we will provide you with the most up to date guidance. We’re here to help. 

How do I arrange a funeral if I am self-isolating?

If you are affected by COVID-19 or you are self-isolating, we have processes in place that will ensure we can still arrange a funeral with you. Please call us first before coming to a branch so that we can give you the correct guidance. 

For example, you can make most arrangements over the phone and we can email or post key documents and forms. 

Will the funeral be delayed?

No. Right now, funerals can be arranged as usual with no impact on timings. 

However, there is every possibility that as current events progress this may change.

Please call us if you need to arrange a funeral and we will be able to give you the most up to date guidance.

Can I delay the funeral?

At the moment we are able to arrange funerals as normal, meaning delays and flexibility on timings is possible.

Please speak to us to discuss your specific requirements.

How many people can attend the funeral I'm organising?

In order to adhere to government guidelines on social distancing, a maximum of 10 mourners are allowed to attend a funeral service at most crematoria and cemeteries throughout the UK. Other service venues have similar restrictions in place as well.

We will be able to provide you with the most up to date guidance on your preferred service location during any arrangements

Will burials still be allowed, or will cremations become mandatory?

Right now, we can arrange both burials and cremations. 

But the situation is changing regularly. This may mean in the coming weeks there may be limitations to the services we can offer and arrangements already underway may have to change.  We will follow government guidance as it is updated. 

What happens if a funeral director branch (or multiple) have to close?

As a nationwide network of funeral directors and crematoria, we can work with colleagues and facilities in other branches nearby should we require additional support.   

This means clients will receive the same high standards of care and service even if one of our funeral directors must close as a result of COVID-19. 

Can I still collect donations at the funeral?

If you would like to collect charitable donations on behalf of your loved one, the safest way to do this is online via a Dignity Funeral Notice, which will also enable people to leave messages of condolence for you to read. Your Funeral Director will be able to guide you through how to do this.

Attending a funeral

Can I attend a funeral?

Yes. Although as most services now have limitations on the number of mourners that can attend, you should only come to the funeral service if you have been specifically invited by the funeral organiser. If you are attending you should expect to follow overarching government guidelines on social distancing.

Anyone suffering with COVID-19 or self-isolating should not attend a funeral service under any circumstances.

I’m self-isolating / can’t attend the funeral in person, how else can I view the service?

If anyone is self-isolating or suffering from Covid-19 they should not attend a funeral service at all.

A large number of crematoriums are able to provide webcasting, which will enable those who are self-isolating or in the vulnerable category to still be able to view the funeral service online rather than attending the crematorium. We would strongly recommend this option is taken up wherever possible.

Individuals attending with the necessary device and airtime plan could video call someone who is self-isolating as an alternative solution as well

How can I ensure I stay as safe as possible whilst attending a funeral?

Mourners who are not part of the same household are advised to stay the recommended 2 metres apart from each other and avoid shaking hands or making other physical contact.

Viewing and caring of the deceased

What hygiene measures are you putting in place?

We already operate with the highest levels of hygiene and safety standards across all of our locations. However, we have implemented additional cleaning routines and procedures in line with guidance from Public Health England to ensure the safety of our staff and all visitors.  

Will you still allow viewing?

We will do all we can to provide this service if it is what you want.   

We are taking daily guidance from Public Health England and there may be restrictions put in place on viewing those who have died as a result of COVID-19. 

Please speak to us and we will be able to provide full guidance on your individual circumstances 

Can I follow religious customs?

Right now, funerals can follow religious customs as normal. This situation may change based upon any updated guidance from the government.   

Please speak to us regarding any specific religious funeral arrangements and we will be able to provide the most up to date guidance for you 

Payments

Are you charging families that need to keep their loved one in your care for longer than usual?

No – there are no additional costs if we have to care for your loved one for a longer period of time.

If I have to cancel the funeral, do I get a refund?

Yes – we will only charge for services we have carried out on your behalf.

I can’t afford to pay for the funeral, what can you do to help?

We recognise this is a difficult time for everyone, with many people in unexpected financial circumstances. We have a range of different services to suit most budgets and we also have arrangements with FuneralSafe who may be able to offer financial assistance.  Additionally we can provide guidance and advice if you are eligible for financial support from the government. 

Funeral Plans

Can I still buy a Funeral Plan?

Yes, you can still purchase a Funeral Plan. If you aren’t able to visit one of our branches or partners, you can find out about the services we offer on our website or calling us on 0800 587 2541.

Have you changed the price of a Funeral Plan due to Coronavirus?

No – all our prices remain as normal 

What should I do if I am having difficulty paying my instalments?

If you are having difficulty paying for your plan or you would like to discuss any concerns you may have, please call us on 0800 587 2541. 

I suspect I may have coronavirus, does this affect my funeral plan?

No, having Coronavirus does not affect your funeral plan, and does not stop you taking out a new funeral plan.

Is the Dignity Promise affected by Coronavirus?

The Dignity Promise is unaffected by coronavirus.  Any customer who has purchased a plan with promise who has paid premiums for at least 12 months will be protected (subject to the terms and conditions). 

Does the recent fall in the stock market affect the ability of the Trust to pay for my funeral?

No. Dignity provides a guarantee to provide your selected funeral irrespective of any impact a fall in the value of the Trust.

What if certain items within my funeral plan are not available due to coronavirus?

Right now we are able to offer nearly all the services included within our Funeral plans. The situation is changing regularly but we continue to work with Government and follow public health guidelines.

This may mean in the coming weeks the way funerals are arranged has to change or there may be limitations to the services we can offer.

We will do our best to meet the needs of our clients, while staying aligned to Government advice and will discuss this during any arrangements.

What happens if my selected Funeral Director is closed due to coronavirus?

Dignity has a nationwide network of funeral directors, as well as a number of independent Funeral Directors who are able to carry out the services provided by a Dignity Funeral Plan.  

In the event of the Nominated Funeral Director being required to closewe will appoint an alternative locally and arranges will be made with you to minimise the inconvenience caused. 

This means clients will receive the same high standards of care and service even if one of our crematorium has to close or is affected by COVID-19. 

Crematoria

What happens if a crematorium has to close?

If a service location is forced to close we will work with you to find an alternative that is local and suitable for your requirements 

Can I collect my loved one's ashes from the Crematorium?

Right now, we continue to manage the return of ashes as normal. This may be either us returning them to you or arranging for you to collect from the crematorium.

If collecting from the crematorium, this may be arranged to a suitable date after mobility restrictions are lifted across the UK

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0800 456 1047

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