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Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Current advice and recommendations (Memoria Ltd)

13th May 2020:

  • Based on the updated Government advice of 10th May 2020, families should be advised to restrict attendance to a maximum of 20 people. This is effective from May 13th 2020.

20th April 2020:

Reopening of Memorial Gardens

Following the Government’s revised instructions with reference to the closure of memorial gardens to the general public, Memoria Ltd are pleased to be able to advise that our memorial gardens have now re-opened.

We would politely ask that if you visit our sites that you respect the current social distancing rules should you come onto our grounds at the same time as other members of the public.

Please note that for now our offices will remain closed and any enquiries should be made by phone or e-mail.


Communication to all Funeral Directors, Celebrants and other third-party visitors

As the Coronavirus outbreak (Covid-19) continues to develop and impact on all of our lives, I want to reassure you that our priority is to continue to provide the highest standards of service and facility to our clients while protecting the health and wellbeing of the bereaved, our staff, your staff, you and the public at large.

We are determined to keep offering services as opposed to taking a direct cremation stance, as taken by some municipal crematoria already. However, if we fail to help in the curbing of the spread of the virus, we may all be faced with this as part of a government directive.

We have already carried out significant preparations to ensure we can maintain our service to the best level we can and will continue to make decisions based on official advice from our Government and health authorities. It is, therefore, vital that we work together to deliver this consistent message so bereaved families can take some comfort of exactly what to expect at this most difficult of times.

We have had to make some very difficult decisions in order to maintain respect and dignity for the deceased whilst simultaneously protecting the health and safety of all concerned, which we have a legal requirement to do.

So, it is crucial that we all work together on a number of measures designed to ensure the safety of everyone whilst continuing to serve the bereaved families who put their trust in us all.

I can confirm that we will be making the following changes with immediate effect, with the exception of the attendance restriction which will come into force on 26th March 2020 to give Funeral Directors a chance to advise all clients.

26th March 2020:

  • As per the updated Government advice of 23rd March 2020, families should be advised to restrict attendance to ‘immediate family members only’ and to a maximum of 10 people. We have published the government’s guidelines at the end of this notice.
  • On arrival at the crematorium, mourners are requested to stay in their vehicles or wait outside. Chapel doors will be locked until 10 minutes prior to a service.
  • Hand sanitizer will be placed on every public entrance to the building, signs will be in place stating anyone entering will be required to clean hands.
  • Our staff will wear gloves at all times during the service and gloves will be provided for attendees wishing to use them.
  • Foyers and waiting rooms, where applicable, whether for families, Funeral Directors or any other visitors will be closed at all times other than to allow access to the funeral service as mentioned above.
  • No one will be allowed to enter the Chapel until asked to do so by our chapel attendant. Once services commence only the Funeral Director will be permitted to stay in the chapel, all other funeral service operatives must leave the building.
  • Crematorium teams will open and close the chapel doors, thereby restricting the number of people touching the handles.
  • In between services, the hard surfaces in the Chapel will be wiped down with suitable cleaning equipment by the crematorium staff. This will include chair tops, pews, door handles, catafalque top and toilets etc.
  • Mourners should be seated so that groups are a distance away from each other.
  • Bins will be provided on entry and exit to the chapel and signage placed advising families to dispose of gloves and any rubbish they have, bins will be emptied after each service.
  • We will not insist that curtains are closed following committal of the deceased, please follow the wishes of the family but please also discourage mourners from touching or kissing the coffin as they leave.
  • Open coffin services will not be permitted at any of our crematoria.
  • All coffins must be closed when they arrive at any of our sites and must remain closed at all times.
  • With immediate effect and for the foreseeable future we will not be offering a Bearer Service at any of our sites.
  • Funeral Directors are asked to use a wheeled bier where possible to prevent bearers being too close together.
  • Funeral Directors and Bearers should leave the service via the chapel door. They will not have access to the cremation areas or our staff room areas for the time being.
  • We will not be providing drinks to any visitors for the foreseeable future, including Funeral Directors.
  • We are removing all service books, hymn books, bibles etc.
  • Funeral Directors must supply service sheets/orders of service for their clients, if required. All service sheets are to be taken away at the end of the service or placed into a chapel bin as they leave the chapel.
  • Funeral Directors are asked to minimize the frequency and number of staff visiting our crematorium offices.
  • Full cremation paperwork must be received by the crematorium 48 hours before a service.
  • The use of electronic forms is encouraged as much as possible. Care must be taken to ensure that information is shared in a way that is GDPR compliant.
  • Our offices will remain locked at all times.
  • Forms should be dropped off by posting through the letterbox or postbox rather than taken into the office. This means that forms won’t be signed for, so Funeral Directors should confirm by phone or email that the forms have been delivered and check they have been received.
  • Only one person should come into reception to collect cremated remains, whether family or Funeral Directors. Funeral Directors should call ahead and notify the crematorium when they wish to collect the same.
  • Please advise clients that memorial consultations will be postponed until further notice.

We are all operating at an unprecedented time and during the biggest crisis that this country has seen since the Second World War. We have a responsibility to families and each other to work together for the collective good of us all. We need to be the rock-solid pillars of an industry we are all proud to be part of and times like these are made easier for others by the strong and decisive actions of brave individuals like you. I know we will step up to this challenge together and so we will get through it together.

From all at Memoria, we offer you our continued support and every good wish to stay safe and healthy. If we are all vigilant in our actions, we will continue to serve the bereaved in the way both we and they would wish.

Ensuring you of our most courteous attention at all times.

 

Howard Hodgson

CEO Memoria Ltd.


NEW RULES ON STAYING AT HOME AND AWAY FROM OTHERS

The single most important action we can all take, in fighting coronavirus, is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives.

When we reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, we will reduce the spread of the infection. That is why the government is now (23 March 2020) introducing three new measures.

  1. Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes
  2. Closing non-essential shops and community spaces
  3. Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public

Every citizen must comply with these new measures. The relevant authorities, including the police, will be given the powers to enforce them – including through fines and dispersing gatherings.

These measures are effective immediately. The Government will look again at these measures in three weeks and relax them if the evidence shows this is possible.

  1. STAYING AT HOME

You should only leave the house for one of four reasons.

  • Shopping for basic necessities​, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
  • One form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household.
  • Any medical need​, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
  • Travelling to and from work​, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.

These four reasons are exceptions – even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household. These measures must be followed by everyone.

Separate advice is available for individuals or households who are isolating​, and for the ​most vulnerable who need to be shielded​.

If you work in a critical sector outlined in this ​guidance​, or your child has been identified as vulnerable, you can continue to take your children to school. ​Where parents do not live in the same household, children under 18 can be moved between their parents’ homes

  1. CLOSING NON-ESSENTIAL SHOPS AND PUBLIC SPACES

Last week, the Government ordered certain businesses – including pubs, cinemas and theatres – to close.

The Government is now extending this requirement to a further set of businesses and other venues, including:

  • All non-essential retail stores - this will include clothing and electronics stores; hair, beauty and nail salons; and outdoor and indoor markets, excluding food markets.
  • Libraries, community centres, and youth centres​.
  • Indoor and outdoor leisure facilities​ such as bowling alleys, arcades and soft play facilities.
  • Communal places within parks​, such as playgrounds, sports courts and outdoor gyms.
  • Places of worship, ​except for funerals attended by immediate families.
  • Hotels, hostels, bed and breakfasts, campsites, caravan parks, and boarding houses for commercial/leisure use (excluding permanent residents and key workers).

More detailed information can be found ​here​, including a full list of those businesses and other venues that must close. Businesses and other venues not on this list may remain open.

  1. STOPPING PUBLIC GATHERINGS

To make sure people are staying at home and apart from each other, the Government is also ​stopping all public gatherings of more than two people​. There are only two exceptions to this rule:

  • Where the gathering is of a group of people who live togethe​r - this means that a parent can, for example, take their children to the shops if there is no option to leave them at home.
  • Where the gathering is essential for work purposes - but workers should be trying to minimise all meetings and other gatherings in the workplace.

In addition, the Government is stopping social events, including weddings, baptisms and other religious ceremonies. This will exclude funerals, which can be attended by immediate family.

DELIVERING THESE NEW MEASURES

These measures will reduce our day to day contact with other people. They are a vital part of our efforts to reduce the rate of transmission of coronavirus.

Every citizen is instructed to comply with these new measures.

The Government will therefore be ensuring the police and other relevant authorities have the powers to enforce them, including through fines and dispersing gatherings where people do not comply.

They will initially last for the three weeks from 23 March, at which point the Government will look at them again and relax them if the evidence shows this is possible.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Current advice and recommendations (Memoria Ltd)