COVID-19 Update: Current Guidance for Funeral Directors & Services (January 2022)
There is no longer a maximum number of attendees defined in regulations. Risk assessments have been carried out to establish the safe capacity of our chapels and listed below are the maximum number of people who will be able to attend in each venue. Please advise your families that we are still advising the use of face masks within our building where possible for those that can use them. We are aware this is no longer a requirement by law but we must ensure safety of all when attending a funeral. A cleaning regime and hand sanitising stations will remain in place for the foreseeable future.
This guidance has been developed to ensure that bereaved people are treated with sensitivity, dignity and respect, and that funerals can continue to take place while minimising the risk of infection.
Sefton Council use Government guidance to inform our decisions and mitigation within our risk assessments for all our sites, however, it is important to include the primary statement in the advice document from government shown below.
This guidance is of a general nature and should be treated as a guide. In the event of conflict between any applicable legislation (including the health and safety legislation) and this guidance, the applicable legislation shall prevail.
Scattering Of Ashes
Families who lost loved ones during the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic are being consulted by by Sefton Council on their plans for the scattering of ashes.
During 2020 and 2021 the scattering of ashes was prevented nationally as a result of the pandemic's impact on day-to-day life, which means some families are only now getting the chance to properly pay their respects to those they have lost.
Although families were put on an appointment list to scatter their loved ones ashes at gardens of rest within Sefton, the Council is finding that many families have since opted to hold alternative services in other locations of personal importance.
As a result, the Council is asking those families still wishing to make an appointment at one of the Local Authority's gardens of rest to get in contact to set a date.
David Clay, Sefton Council's Burials and Cremations Manager, said: "It is impossible to describe the upset and pain that families who lost loved ones during those early days of the pandemic went through.
"Unavoidable safety restrictions meant families were unable to pay tribute to those who passed away in a conventional way and we understand that the effects of what happened are still being felt.
"The scattering of ashes at our gardens of rest have resumed and we are in the process of contacting families.
"However, many have told us that as a result of lifted restrictions they have opted for alternative ceremonies or scatterings at locations of significance to those who passed.
"We fully empathise with this decision but want to make sure that families who still want to scatter ashes are able to do so.
"We would encourage those families who still want to hold a scattering within our gardens to contact us directly to reconfirm their request.
"This will enable us to speed up the process for families who still want appointments in the garden of remembrance so they have the opportunity to pay their respects at the earliest opportunity.”
To contact Sefton Council's Cemeteries and Crematorium team please call Thornton Garden of Rest on 0151 924 5143 or Southport Crematorium on 01704 533443