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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic FAQs

Moving to Plan B - The government has announced Plan-B measures to help tackle the spread of the Coronavirus Omicron variant.

Simplicity Cremations is continuously monitoring and responding to this outbreak and advice from the UK Government. Please visit the Government Coronavirus guidance for the most up to date information.

This Q&A will be updated as more is known about COVID-19, how it spreads and how it is affecting people.

If local restrictions are in place in your area, check your local guidance.

 

Arranging a funeral

Can I arrange a funeral?

Yes. We have continued to provide respectful funerals throughout the pandemic and will continue to do so now restrictions are being eased.

Our funeral services and other linked commemorative events following a death such as a wake, headstone setting, or scattering of ashes can now take place in COVID-secure venues.

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.

Are you going to limit the number of people who can attend the funeral?

Our Unattended service does not allow for mourners to attend as normal.

The number of attendees for our Intimate and Attended Funeral services may be limited based on chapel capacity at the chosen crematorium. 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.

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.

Your registry 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 registry 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 still collect charity 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.

 

 

Attending a funeral

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.

Individuals attending with the necessary device and airtime plan could video call someone who can't attend as an alternative solution.

You may be able to watch the Intimate or Attended service online through a streaming service. Streaming and media services are not available for Unattended services.

If you are the person who has arranged the Simplicity Cremation, please contact the crematorium directly. They will be able to discuss the options available, prices and explain how the services work.

If you are a friend or family member of the deceased, please contact the family member who has organised the funeral to see if they have chosen to use streaming or media services. Please note that we cannot provide this information, nor can we provide contact details for our clients.

How can I ensure I stay as safe as possible whilst attending a funeral?

Social distancing measures no longer apply so you do not need to stay 2 metres apart at a funeral or commemorative event. However, limiting close contact reduces the risk of catching or passing on COVID-19.

Given the exemption for some people to leave self-isolation or quarantine to attend funerals, you may choose to limit the close contact you have with people you do not live with in order to stay as safe as possible. 

Are face coverings a legal requirement at funerals?

In England, face coverings are required by law in most indoor public places and on public transport. 

This means that in most settings where a funeral is likely to take place, including crematoria, face coverings are required by law. A full list of in-scope and exempt settings is available here.

There are no exemptions for funerals.

What about commemorative events?

Face coverings are not required in hospitality venues where food and drink are consumed (such as pubs, cafés and restaurants). 

Where a premises or part of a premises is being used for an event where the main activities include eating or drinking, face coverings are not required. This means some commemorative events may be exempt because eating and drinking is taking place.  

When taking place in an in-scope setting, face coverings must be worn in communal areas of the premises not being used for the event, such as in a hotel lobby when an event is taking place in a conference room.

What role would a funeral organiser play in enforcing face coverings in these settings?

Settings in which face coverings are required must display signage or take other measures to ensure customers are aware of the requirement to wear a face covering on their premises where there is no applicable exemption or reasonable excuse.

The police and police community support officers can enforce compliance if members of the public do not comply with this law without a reasonable excuse. Local authority enforcement officers can also use their enforcement powers against businesses for failing to display appropriate signage or breaching the prohibition against preventing someone from wearing a face covering.

Organisers shouldn't prevent customers or staff from wearing a face covering. It is against the law to prevent someone from wearing a face covering in a listed setting.

 

 

Care of the deceased

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. 

 

 

Payments

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.

 

 

Crematoria

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. Contact us for more information. 

 

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.

 

 

Cremation services

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. 

Can the curtains remain open?

If the crematorium has curtains they will need to close during the committal.

 

 

Funeral Plans

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.

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