Simplicity Cremations is continuously monitoring and responding to this outbreak and advice from the UK Government. This Q&A will be updated as more is known about the Coronavirus (COVID-19), how it spreads and how it is affecting people.
Can I arrange a funeral?
Yes. We are able to arrange funerals as we normally do, providing high standards of care and service for families and their loved ones.
Although we are trying to ensure we can provide as much of our service as possible there are some restrictions in place to meet the governments social distancing guidelines. This includes limiting our Intimate and Attended Services to a maximum number of attendees at some of our preferred crematoria.
We will be able to provide you with full details of any impact on our service delivery during the arrangements.
How do I arrange a funeral if I am self-isolating?
Arranging a funeral with Simplicity Cremations can be done entirely over the phone and we will able to provide full advice and guidance to you at this time.
Will the funeral be delayed?
No. Right now, funerals can be arranged as usual, but there may be some impact on when the funeral can take place.
Please call us if you need to arrange a funeral and we will be able to give you the most up to date guidance for your particular location.
Can I delay the funeral?
Our Unattended service does not provide the flexibility to delay or choose the date of cremation.
For our Intimate or Attended Services delays and flexibility on timings are possible but limited, and we will do everything we can to find a date that suits you. However, you need to be aware that delaying may mean that further restrictions are in place in the future based on government guidance at that time.
How many people can attend the funeral I am organising?
Our Unattended service does not allow for mourners to attend as normal.
In order to adhere to government guidelines on social distancing, the number of mourners allowed to attend an Intimate or Attended funeral service will vary depending on the chosen crematorium and how many attendees the crematorium can safely accommodate in their Chapel. Please contact us for more information.
My loved one has passed away as a result of Coronavirus. Can you help?
Yes, we are able to arrange a funeral for your loved one. Please just make us aware of the situation when you call us and we'll take care of everything.
Who can attend a funeral?
Alongside the Funeral Director, Chapel Attendant and funeral staff, only the following should attend:
- Members of the person’s household
- Close family
- Close friends (if family are unable to attend)
- A celebrant of choice, should the bereaved request this
Do I need to attend the register office in person to register the death?
You will need to register the death of your loved one within five days from the date of death in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and eight days in Scotland. You can find contact details for your local register office on the GOV.UK website in England and Wales, the Directory of Registrars in Scotland or the General Register Office for Northern Ireland.
In light of current restrictions, your register office will arrange for the Medical Certificate of the Cause of Death (MCCD) to be sent to you without you needing to attend their premises in person.
The process may vary depending on where you live, but the register office will guide you through what you need to do. This paperwork will need to be shared with your Funeral Director as part of the arrangement process. They will guide you through when and how you need to share it with them.
Can I attend a funeral?
There are temporary restrictions on the number of people who can attend an Intimate or Attended service based on the chapel size at the chosen crematoria. Please only attend if you have been specifically invited.
All those attending will be expected to follow government guidelines on social distancing.
Anyone suffering with COVID-19 should not attend a funeral service under any circumstances. If you are self-isolating due to another member of the household being unwell with symptoms of Coronavirus but you aren't displaying symptoms yourself, you can still attend a funeral*. Mourners who are from a household that is self-isolating should:
- Maintain a distance of at least 2 metres from others
- Advise the other mourners that you are otherwise self-isolating at home, and ensure that you do not attend at the same time as another mourner who may be extremely clinically vulnerable
- Travel to and from the funeral in your own transport if possible. If you must use shared transport with others that you do not normally meet and where social distancing is not possible, you should consider wearing a face covering.
If you are in an extremely clinically vulnerable group, you can still attend a funeral if you wish to do so. However, you are not advised to attend if there are others attending who are self-isolating due to another member of the household being unwell with symptoms of Coronavirus. You should:
- Follow the general social distancing advice for the clinically vulnerable mourners and should maintain a distance of 2 metres away from others as a minimum
- Advise other attendees that you are an extremely clinically vulnerable person
- Travel to the venue via the safest route possible, preferably in a car alone or with someone from your household
- Adhere to rigorous hand and respiratory hygiene whilst you are out of your home environment.
I have symptoms of Coronavirus / can’t attend the funeral in person, how else can I view the service?
If anyone is suffering from COVID-19 they should not attend the crematorium at all.
We are working closely with our crematoria colleagues to see how we may be able to stream services in the near future, however for now this is not possible.
Individuals attending with the necessary device and airtime plan could video call someone who can't attend as an alternative solution.
How can I ensure I stay as safe as possible whilst attending a funeral?
Mourners who are not part of the same household are advised to stay the recommended 2 metres apart from each other and avoid shaking hands or making other physical contact. It is also advised that you do not share stationery items (orders of service, condolence cards) or pens amongst mourners who are not part of the same household.
Wash your hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds using soap and water or hand sanitiser, particularly after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose, or after being in public areas.
When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or the crook of your sleeved arm (not your hands) if you don’t have a tissue, and throw the tissue away immediately. Then wash your hands or use hand sanitiser.
You should also follow the advice on social distancing when travelling to and from the funeral. If you are using shared transport with others that you do not normally meet and where social distancing is not possible, you should consider wearing a face covering.
Can I still collect donations at the funeral?
In the current context, the safest way for you to collect donations on behalf of your loved one would be via an online platform, e.g. Justgiving, as donation boxes present unnecessary risk to mourners and crematoria staff at the current time.
What hygiene measures are you putting in place?
We already operate with the highest levels of hygiene and safety standards across all of our locations. However, we have implemented additional cleaning routines and procedures in line with guidance from Public Health England to ensure the safety of our staff and all visitors.
If I have to cancel the funeral, do I get a refund?
Yes – we will only charge for services we have carried out on your behalf.
I can’t afford to pay for the funeral, what can you do to help?
We recognise this is a difficult time for everyone, with many people in unexpected financial circumstances.
Simplicity offer a range of different services to suit most budgets.
Please give us a call and we will see how we can help and also provide guidance on if you are eligible for financial support from the government
Are you charging families that need to keep their loved one in your care for longer than usual?
No – there are no additional costs if we have to care for your loved one for a longer period of time.
Can I visit the crematorium, cemetery or memorial site?
Effective April 21st 2020, Crematoria grounds will be open for visiting graves and remembrance gardens*. Please ensure that any visits continue to respect social distancing guidelines at all times.
There are temporary restrictions on the number of people who can attend Intimate or Attended funeral services based on the chapel size at the chosen crematoria.
*Please note, Enfield and East London crematoria are currently operating under restricted visitation hours.
What happens if the crematorium has to close?
We have access to 46 Crematoria throughout the UK.
For unattended services – we will still be able to complete your service using an alternative crematorium.
For Intimate or Attended services, we will provide an alternative crematorium. In this instance it is likely that the crematorium will not be as local as the original.
Can I organise an attended service?
Yes, we are still able to arrange both our Intimate and Attended Cremation services - although the number of attendees may be limited based on chapel capacity at the chosen crematorium.
Those attending should expect to follow overarching government guidelines on social distancing. Especially those individuals deemed to be most at risk.
Is a direct cremation the best option if we can't attend?
A direct cremation or unattended service is an ideal service if you can’t attend.
Are you going to limit the number of people who can attend the service?
The number of attendees may be limited based on chapel capacity at the chosen crematorium. Contact us for more information.
Will the return of ashes be affected?
Right now we continue to manage the return of ashes as normal.
However, if you have arranged for ashes to be delivered, there may be a slightly longer timescale than normal as we deal with a reduced level of staff. Our staff will practise social distancing when the delivery takes place.
Can the curtains remain open?
If the crematorium has curtains they will need to close during the committal.
Can I still buy a Funeral Plan?
Yes – you can buy online or give us a call.
Have you changed the price of a Funeral Plan due to Coronavirus?
No – all our prices remain as normal.
What should I do if I am having difficulty paying my instalments?
If you are having difficulty paying for your plan or you would like to discuss any concerns you may have, please call us on 0800 484 0531.
I suspect I may have coronavirus, does this affect my funeral plan?
No, having Coronavirus does not affect your funeral plan, and does not stop you taking out a new funeral plan.
Does the recent fall in the stock market affect the ability of the Trust to pay for my funeral?
No. The services included in a Simplicity Plan are guaranteed to be delivered irrespective of any movements within the value of the Trust.
What if certain items within my funeral plan are not available due to coronavirus?
We are able to offer most of the services included within our Funeral Plans. Where there are any limitations as a result of coronavirus, we will discuss these with you at the time.
Need to talk?
Do you need further support or advice? Our team are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.