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.