March 19, 2020 2.53 pm This story is over 18 months old

Mourners facing funeral restrictions during coronavirus outbreak

Councils including West Lindsey and Boston Borough have scaled back services

Mourners planning to say goodbye to their loved ones could face restrictions on funeral services as councils and managers look to protect staff and guests from coronavirus.

Councils including West Lindsey and Boston Borough have started scaling back their services in a bid to reduce the risk of infection.

Measures taken include:

  • Reducing seating to discourage large numbers and their proximity
  • Discouraging mourners from touching coffins to avoid cross-infection
  • Removing hymn books and providing discardable photocopies
  • Extra sanitising and cleaning between services focussed on handles, lecterns, modesty boards, toilets and surfaces

Karen Balsdon, manager of Lea Fields Crematorium, near Gainsborough, said: “We want to reassure you all that we taking every possible action to ensure that your service will be as safe from the coronavirus as possible.”

Private crematoriums have also taken protective measures including guidance to maintain a set distance and avoid physical contact with staff, and forbidding those unwell with fevers and coughs from attending.

A statement on Alford Crematorium’s website said: “We will take all reasonable measures to protect our staff and visitors, and to keep open and providing a service throughout the outbreak.”

Lincolnshire County Council has already taken steps to restrict its birth, death and marriage services including limits on the numbers and asking those in self-isolation to get someone to carry out registrations on their behalf.

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