Updates COVID-19

Our thoughts are with all of our members, their staff, as well as with their families during this challenging situation. We are available for help you may need. Please do not hesitate to contact us.

30.03.2020

Update from UK

On 26 March 2020 the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, signed the Coronavirus Act 2020 (Commencement No. 1) Regulations 2020. Please click here for the Statement.

Thank you to Jeremy Field of CPJ Field & Co. for his valuable comment on how this impacts the funeral profession: "The intended benefit of these changes is to ease the administrative burden in death and ensure that any obstacles to the efficient processing of funeral arrangements are removed.

It should mean that funerals can happen quicker.  That doctors, families and funeral directors have less contact with third parties by not visiting too many locations in person (doctor doesn’t have to go to the funeral home, funeral director doesn’t have to take papers to the crematorium, grieving family don’t have to visit Registrar to register death etc.)

It also means that the local government can step in and manage funeral directors, crematoria and cemeteries if they need to.  We hope they don’t need to."

Complete update COVID-19

23.03.2020

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has just published their considerations when dealing with deceased persons. Please click here for the pdf or use this link.

Update Spain: During the state of emergency, the government has approved that the minimum waiting period of 24 hours before burial or cremation is waived. They have announced that Congress (Congreso de los Diputados) will vote this to extend the state of emergency for two more weeks to April 11th.

Complete update COVID-19

20.03.2020

Update Spain: the Government declared the alarm state one week ago, with a lot of restrictive measures: confinement at home, people can only leave home for going to work or to buy elementary things, all shops closed except pharmacies , supermarkets or groceries, people are encouraged to work from home whereever possible.

Public hospitals are very saturated and close to collapse and all the private ones are also at the disposal to the health authorities to transfer the less serious patients there, even to hotels. The healthcare staff is doing a great job, and every day at 8 pm Spanish people go out to the balcony of our houses and applaud them.

In relation to funeral services, companies do all our best,  trying to protect our staff and deceased’s families. It’s not easy to get PPE but so far we have had enough: the Government finally considers funeral companies part of the health chain.

The Government has approved several specific measures,  and funeral companies some more. I write to you the obligatory ones and other that we apply in Altima:

No treatment of deceased, placed directly in a bag and in coffin. Covid’s deceased are transferred directly to the crematorium or cemetery, without a wake or ceremony (which is postponed for later), funeral homes are open to the rest of the deceased, only few hours (2-4) of stay in the visitation rooms for wakes, and restricted entry only for immediate family members (all coffins closed). The same with the ceremonies in funeral homes, no ceremonies in churches.

Repatriation of covid’s deceased are not permitted, because they cannot be embalmed. Deceased with other causes of death still possible.

Croatia: Funerals are held only with close family. Most of them are silent funerals. The priests hold ceremony without Holy Mass. Condolences expressed with hands are forbidden.

Update Portugal: Portugal has declared emergency. All commerce is closed and a lot of services. Funeral homes are allowed to work and be open to the public. The viewing and ceremony can take place as usual in the chapels but with limit of number of people at the same time. Problems with supply of PPE.

Update Germany: German Funeral Association has submitted request to German government that funeral professionals are classified as "system-critical" in the crisis. First regional governments have responded and added our profession accordingly.

Update France: In France, all masks FFP2 or FFP3 are reserved for medical personal, so we have a hard time to equip our funeral staff.

Update Austria: Encountering difficulties because the borders are closing and air traffic is reduced. No official or specificregulations have been issued.

Belgium: Crematoria Pontes has issued these guidelines with restrictive measures for their crematoria in Antwerp, Belgium.

Complete update COVID-19

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