The Coronavirus Act 2020 received Royal Assent on 25th March 2020 and has made a number of changes to the regulations governing cremations. There have also been changes to the death registration process, with new guidelines issued by the General Register Office. In summary, the main changes are:
The need for a second doctor to complete a confirmatory medical certificate (known as Cremation 5) is suspended. A Cremation 4 is still required, but can now be completed by any medical practitioner, even if they did not attend the deceased during their last illness or after death (subject to certain conditions).
The need to register a death in person and sign the register is no longer required where the local authority has suspended the face-to-face service.
If the local authority does not offer a telephone registration service and the family are unable to attend a face-to-face appointment, the funeral director is now able to register on behalf of the family.
In these unprecedented times you may not be able to arrange the funeral service you would have wished for your loved one but we will work with you to honour the memory of your loved one in line with Government guidance.
We recommend that you consider limiting attendees to members of the immediate family who are not in any of the high-risk categories and are not self-isolating. Immediate family would include:
Spouse / Partner
Parents / carers
Brothers / Sisters
Children (and partners)
Of course we are sensitive to individual circumstances. For example, if the deceased person had few, if any immediate, relatives but a close friend wishes to attend the service, that would be reasonable – or in the case of the death of a grandparent, attendance by the grandchildren would be appropriate.
As guidelines from Government, local authorities and individual crematoria and cemeteries is being regularly updated please speak to your local branch for the latest advice.
Please rest assured that my team and I are here to help you and we will always put the health and safety of our team and the families we serve first. We remain available 24 hours a day - if you require any assistance please do not hesitate to contact us.
For more information about our Direct Cremation service, please click on the button.