COVID-19 SERVICE UPDATE
During these challenging and unprecedented times, the Coronavirus is dictating how funerals are to be arranged and officiated. Ever-changing regulations can make it difficult to have a clear understanding as to what can and cannot be achieved. How many people can attend a funeral, what are the limitations, questions that are frequently asked.
For your reassurance, the Searson Family Funeral Service operates a strict 'COVID SECURITY' Policy within all our funeral homes. We have a responsibility for the health and wellbeing of our staff and those who visit us. We have stringent cleaning procedures in place, controls on numbers of people at the Funeral Home at one time, we even have Hygiene Stations throughout our buildings to prevent the potential spread of Coronavirus. In addition, we offer guidance on how services can be provided, explain the limitations, but at the same time, try and enforce a sense of normality, and encourage families to create a meaningful funeral experience.
When visiting our funeral homes, the law now dictates how we manage our guests. A Face Covering is required BEFORE you enter the building, we expect all guests to use the Hygiene Station, to sanitise their hands and, if preferred, wear disposable gloves. We ask our guests to respect social distancing, at this time we are enforcing the two-metre rule for everyone's safety. We limit the number of guests in our funeral homes to a maximum of six at any one time to enable social distancing to be effective. We don't encourage handshaking as a welcome gesture, please don't take this as being unsociable, we're just being responsible!
Arranging a funeral and the process we take hasn't changed, we are here to provide an individual and unique commemoration of a life well lived and loved. We just need to consider the potential risks and will guide you as to what restrictions may be in place based on your specific requirements. Unfortunately, at this time, and due to heightened potential risk, we are unable to provide a home visit to arrange a funeral.
CHAPEL OF REST:
We have NO limitations when it comes to visiting a loved one at our Chapel of Rest. Even if your loved one had been positively identified as Covid-19, we take specific precautions to protect our staff and visitors. Should you wish to visit our chapel, be assured that every precaution will have been taken to safeguard your health and safety. We have state of the art Mortuary Facilities with dedicated, highly trained and qualified staff who care for everyone, regardless of what 'potential' risk may exist. All we ask is that you visit without coming in contact with those resting in our chapel, that's all.
Unlike other funeral providers, we still offer the use of Limousines for funerals. However, the law now dictates that every passenger wears a Face Covering to protect each other and our driver. In addition, we have partition screens in all our vehicles that separate passengers from the driver. Unfortunately, and due to risk prevention, we are unable to accommodate passengers in the front seat.
At this time, The Searson Family Funeral Service has no restrictions on family members carrying the coffin. However, certain funeral venues say that they do not permit family bearers, so should you have concerns over this, we ask you to please contact the venue owners direct.
Currently, the law now indicates a change in the number of those who can attend a funeral. THIRTY (30) guests are the maximum that the law permits although certain funeral venues have their own Policy and this may indicate a lower number. The number of thirty guests is for indoor and outside venues. Depending upon your choice of service location, we will let you know what Policy is in place and inform you of your permitted number of guests. Ultimately, it will be the responsibility of those arranging the funeral to ensure the maximum number isn't exceeded.
The maximum number of THIRTY (30) guests is the law and not a guideline, and the venue owners will have the right to limit the number of guests should more than thirty attend. The Searson Family Funeral Service has no jurisdiction when it comes to policing the law, and it is the sole responsibility of the venue owner to prevent an illegal gathering from taking place. Should guests be prevented from attending, that will be a decision made by the venue owner and the Searson family cannot be held responsible. At this time, Portchester Crematorium has a reduced number, only permitting TWENTY Guests in the South Chapel and FIFTEEN in the North Chapel. The Oaks is allowing the maximum THIRTY although numbers can change so please check with your Funeral Director. All Local Authority Cemeteries are permitting the maximum THIRTY.
We're sure that these are the only limitations set in place, with the exception of the number of attendees, the service is just about the same as it has always been. There are many ways in which we can help you compromise on the limitations of guests, webcam services at most venues are available, we offer FREE Order of Service Books for every family and additional copies can be purchased for those unable to attend. We can offer a wider cortege route to pass groups of family and friends on the way to the service, in fact, we will do whatever we can to make sure you and your loved one receive the moment they deserve.
As time goes by this Statement will be updated to keep everyone informed of the restrictions set in place. Should you have any concerns, please contact us at any time.