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no attendance funeral cremation

Covid-19 & crematoria – should councils be banning families from funerals?


Dear Councils

Please could you reconsider your stance on Cremations during Covid-19 outbreak.

A number of councils have banned mourners from attending the cremation in order to protect their staff.

I want to make it absolutely clear how I feel about this – this is wrong: plain and simple

Here are the reasons why I believe it to be wrong:

  • It is not in accordance with Government advice where immediate family can attend
  • It is over cautious, shopping in a supermarket where there are hundreds of people in a confined space is practiced daily, staff and customers are content with this if distancing and hygiene are observed.
  • There is only one person that they would come into contact with and this could be managed so as not to come into direct contact with the family
  • The long-term impact on the bereaved could be massive, it is making a bad situation much worse.
  • The mental health implications of not being able to say goodby in a dignified manner will be far reaching and deeply felt.

I fully support the actions of the National Association of Funeral Director (NAFD) in bringing this to the attention of the media.

It would appear, as one might expect, the situation is evolving quickly with a number of councils backing down from their complete ban.

York City council is in the firing line, families are distraught by the local authorities policy on banning mourners and one lady wrote to them explaining her feelings accusing them of causing severe and detrimental’ damage to families.

‘To refuse wives, husbands, parents and children of the deceased the chance to say goodbye is a severe and detrimental decision that will create further trauma and long-lasting damage to the families that are already grieving a devastating loss,’ 

‘Nobody is asking for a full funeral. We’re simply asking that immediate family (spouses, parents and children) can attend their loved one’s funeral, while adhering to social distancing rules,’

I could not agree more.

There a has been a petition to ask the council to reconsider, currently over four thousand people (including myself) have signed it. Here is the link

So I will add my voice to others: Councils, be proportionate and think for the good of everyone.


Richard Martin

Director of Scattering Ashes

3 thoughts on “Covid-19 & crematoria – should councils be banning families from funerals?

  1. Reply
    Richard George Pitts - 22nd August 2020

    Seven close family at my mum’s funeral we loved her what happened was evil

  2. Reply
    Lisa Mckinnell - 5th May 2020

    My mum died of covid19, my sister and myself weren’t allowed to go to my mum’s funeral. It was horrible couldn’t hold her hand while she died, couldn’t say goodbye at the funeral, last time I saw my mum alive was the day before mother’s day

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 5th May 2020

      That is truly sad Lisa, I am so sorry for you and your family.
      Kind regards

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