COVID-19 SERVICE UPDATE
Britain is now easing its way out of lockdown, and the current road map will hopefully provide more flexibility in how we manage our lives. However, the way in which funerals are arranged and carried out are still experiencing restrictions, and the following paragraphs detail how these will affect your funeral arrangements. Please note that regulations are changing frequently, so this guidance is just an overview.
For your reassurance, the Searson Family Funeral Service operates a strict 'COVID SECURITY' Policy within all our funeral homes. We are responsible for our staff's health and well-being and those who visit us. We have stringent cleaning procedures in place, controls on numbers of people at the Funeral Home at one time, we even have Hygiene Stations throughout our buildings to prevent the potential spread of Coronavirus. In addition, we offer guidance on how services can be provided, explain the limitations, and try and enforce a sense of normality and encourage families to create a meaningful funeral experience.
When visiting our funeral homes, the law now dictates how we manage our guests. Face Covering is required BEFORE you enter the building. We expect all guests to use the Hygiene Station to sanitise their hands and, if preferred, wear disposable gloves. We ask our guests to respect social distancing; at this time, we are enforcing the two-metre rule for everyone's safety. We limit the number of guests in our funeral homes to a maximum of six at any one time to enable social distancing to be effective. We don't encourage handshaking as a welcome gesture; please don't take this as unsociable; we're just responsible!
Arranging a funeral and the process we take hasn't changed; we are here to provide an individual and unique commemoration of a life well lived and loved. We need to consider the potential risks and guide you on what restrictions may be in place based on your specific requirements. Unfortunately, at this time, and due to heightened potential risk, we cannot provide a home visit to arrange a funeral.
CHAPEL OF REST:
We have NO limitations when visiting a loved one at our Chapel of Rest. Even if your loved one had been positively identified as Covid-19, we take specific precautions to protect our staff and visitors. Should you wish to visit our chapel, be assured of taking every precaution to safeguard your health and safety. We have state of the art Mortuary Facilities with dedicated, highly trained and qualified staff who care for everyone, regardless of the 'potential risk. All we ask is that you visit without coming in contact with those resting in our chapel, that's all.
Unlike other funeral providers, we still offer Limousines for funerals. However, the law now dictates that every passenger wears Face Covering to protect each other and our driver. In addition, we have partition screens in all our vehicles that separate passengers from the driver. Unfortunately, and due to risk prevention, we cannot accommodate passengers in the front seat.
At this time, The Searson Family Funeral Service has no restrictions on family members carrying the coffin. However, certain funeral venues say that they do not permit family bearers, so should you have concerns over this, we ask you to please contact the venue owners direct.
Since the government's road map to coming out of lockdown has been implemented, the law has now removed the maximum number of thirty guests at a funeral. However, the individual funeral venue is responsible for implementing their own Risk Assessment to determine safe numbers whilst providing social distance. Therefore, every Crematorium and cemetery will have its own limit to maximum numbers.
Searson Family Funeral Service has no jurisdiction regarding policing individual funeral venue's Policies on attendee numbers. Should guests be prevented from attending, that will be a decision made by the venue owner, and the Searson family cannot be held responsible. At this time, Portchester Crematorium has a significant reduction, only permitting TWENTY Guests in the South Chapel and FIFTEEN in the North Chapel. The Oaks now permit a maximum THIRTY-EIGHT, although numbers can change so please check with your Funeral Director. Outside venues such as cemeteries may impose a restriction, although numbers could be higher as long as social distancing is maintained. In every instance, we suggest that you take guidance from your Funeral Director so you can ensure compliance with each authorities restrictions.
We're sure that these are the only limitations set in place, except for the number of attendees; the service is just about the same as it has always been. There are many ways to help you compromise on the limitations of guests, webcam services at most venues are available, we offer FREE Order of Service Books for every family. We can purchase additional copies for those unable to attend. We can offer a wider cortege route to pass groups of family and friends on the way to the service; in fact, we will do whatever we can to make sure you and your loved one receive the moment they deserve.
As time goes by, we will update this statement to keep everyone informed of the restrictions. Should you have any concerns, please contact us at any time.