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Your Guide to Arranging a Funeral amid the Pandemic

The first necessary step you have to take when a loved one passes away

The death of a loved one – whether sudden or due to a prolonged illness – can be particularly devastating. For all those close to the person, dealing with such a loss can be utterly difficult. But life goes on, as they say! Even if you have to contend with grief and loss, you may still have to contend with other practical matters, like a funeral. Fortunately, you can get guidance when it comes to arranging a funeral if you hire the services of a funeral director. They are there to give you the appropriate support you need. But what should you know about arranging a funeral to plan it accordingly with the help of your funeral director? Here’s your guide to arranging a funeral in the midst of the pandemic.

Registering the death

The first necessary step you have to take when a loved one passes away is registering the person’s death. The registration process is not that difficult, but you have to do it yourself. Please note that your funeral director cannot do this for you. Registration will have to be within five days of the person’s death, including bank holidays and weekends. Once you have finished registering the death, you will get a certificate for burial or a cremation application. You can submit the certificate or application to the funeral director or crematorium.

Arranging the individual’s funeral

As mentioned, in terms of arranging the person’s funeral, you can rely on a funeral director’s support and expertise, such as the funeral directors from But before starting with the arrangements, check if your loved one has life insurance or prepaid plans to be sure.

Follow social distancing while making funeral arrangements

It is better to plan for virtual or phone meetings rather than in-person meetings. Make sure to follow this protocol for the funeral home staff, clergy, cemetery staff, and other officials working for funeral arrangements. In case you need to meet someone in person, make sure to follow preventive action to stay safe from the virus.

Wearing masks and washing your hands at regular intervals of time should be the top priority. In case you are sick or have any exposure to the virus, avoid in-person meetings. Experts suggest that the risk of spreading COVID-19 during events and gatherings is more. So, if you feel that wearing masks or maintaining social distancing is not for you, better you stay at home.

Change traditional rituals or practices

Make sure to coordinate with the funeral director, officiate, or clergy to make necessary changes in the arrangements. The changes will protect the attendees and other participants. You also need to have options to modify new practices that are easily acceptable to friends and families. In case you feel that some rituals can have some changes, go for it. It can be sharing rides to the gravesite, offering food and beverages to the attendees, etc.

Some people have the ritual to bring gifts or food to the grieving family members. They consider this as a way to express care and concern. But during a pandemic, it is important to express care where personal interaction is not there. Hand over the gifts or food items to the family members by maintaining at least 6 feet of distance. This will eliminate the threat of infection transmitting from one to another.


There may be some restrictions on arranging a wake or funeral amidst the Coronavirus pandemic. So it’s best to coordinate this with your funeral director to know if you follow the guidelines. But in general, the number of individuals who can attend a wake or funeral will depend on the venue. Also, how many individuals can accommodate following guidelines for social distancing.

If the wake or funeral is held in the home of the deceased or any private residence, a total of two households (or six individuals) can attend. If someone is not feeling well or has symptoms of the Coronavirus, they should not be present.

You can still go to the funeral if you are in self-isolation. And if the NHS Test and Trace instructed you to self-isolate. A person in your home has Coronavirus symptoms, or you have recently arrived in the UK after coming from a territory or country on the amber list. If you have been placed in quarantine due to being in a red-listed territory or country, you could still attend the funeral. You need to ask for permission from the quarantine accommodations where you are staying for that. However, you can only participate in the funeral and not the wake if you are in quarantine or are self-isolating.

Refrain from touching the body of the deceased

When it comes to a funeral, there are different types of traditions that take place in the bereavement process. In some places, there is a tradition of touching the body of the person deceased. Although we are still developing knowledge on how the virus spreads, you might get it by touching the body.

They might have some contact with the COVID-19 suspect or himself has the virus inside. So, wait till the body is ready for viewing. This reduces the possibility for the spread of the virus. In case the person deceased has confirmed the case of COVID-19 –

  • Avoid touching or kissing the body even during the preparation
  • Ensure to wash your hands using soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds after you make contact. It is better to use hand sanitizer than has a minimum 60% of alcohol.

Assistance from a funeral director

It’s best if the funeral director is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors. The professional can also be associated with the National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors to seek help. If funeral directors are a member of such organizations, it means they follow a code of standards.

The death of the loved one is always very painful and distressing. But dealing with the situation during such difficult times is even more important. Hope the discussion will help people understand how to plan for a funeral in a much better way.

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