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Walsall Council Bereavement Services: update as roadmap continues

Published on 14 May 2021 Print

The Government’s latest road map announcement means that funeral limits around burials in Walsall will change.  Number limits at our gravesides will be removed from 17 May.  Social distancing will remain in place and mourners should continue to observe ‘hands, face, space’ rules to help prevent  transmission of Covid 19.  These rules mean that we will still need to limit number in the chapels.  From 17 May:

  • there will be no limits on outside services such a burials or scattering ashes;
  • the limits on Streetly Crematorium chapels will remain (10 mourners in the east chapel and 15 in the west chapel); and
  • the number of people allowed to listen to the service outside will double from 15 to 30.

  If you attend a funeral you should:

  • Practice physical distancing measures. (This means maintaining a distance of 2 metres wherever practical, including outside and waiting to go into the venue.Please be aware - this does not include social distancing between members of the same household, or a carer and the person assisted by the carer.)
  • Wear a face covering throughout the duration of the ceremony unless you have a valid exemption.  
  • Use your own transport and where possible do not share cars with people outside your household
  • Use the NHS Track & Trace system at Streetly Crematorium (QR posters are on display)
  • Use hand sanitiser on entry to the venue 
  • Sit with members of your household or support bubble  
  • Follow all signage and directions from staff at the venue 
  • Avoid attending a funeral wherever possible if you, or someone you live with, have symptoms of COVID-19 (a new continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell). If you have symptoms you should immediately self-isolate, follow the latest guidance, and request a test online, or by contacting NHS 119 via telephone if you do not have internet access. 
  • Those planning to travel to Walsall from outside of the United Kingdom should follow the guidance on entering the UK

Councillor Garry Perry Portfolio holder for Bereavement services at Walsall Council said, “The latest phase of the roadmap can allow for greater flexibility for mourners dependent on choice of venue. However, the ongoing pandemic means that we still need to keep restrictions in place – keeping numbers as low as possible overall will reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. Therefore, the actual number of people able to attend a funeral is again dependent on how many people can be accommodated safely within those premises and allow for sufficient social distancing.  Depending on the size and capacity of the venue in some cases, this may still be fewer than 30 people."

“I would also urge mourners to take a symptom free COVID-19 test and wait for your result before attending a funeral event. You can book an appointment to take a test at one of our community or pharmacy testing sites, collect a kit to test at home from pharmacies across the borough or order a kit online to come to your house.”

“Naturally we remain committed to supporting all Walsall residents and accommodating their needs where we can, but must we must also balance this by minimising the risk of spreading infection to mourners or anyone in a key worker role.”

~ENDS~ 

Notes to editors 

  • All residents in Walsall can now access free, twice-weekly symptom-free COVID-19 testing. You can book an appointment to take a test at one of our community or pharmacy testing sites, collect a kit to test at home from pharmacies across the borough or order a kit online to come to your house
  • Anyone who takes a symptom-free test at home is required to report every result whether this is positive, negative or void. This can be reported online or via telephone by calling 119 (free from mobiles and landlines). Lines are open every day, 7am to 11pm. If you have attended a community or pharmacy site to take your test you do not have to report your result as this will be done by the technician at the testing site. 
  • If you did a symptom-free (rapid lateral flow) test and the result was positive: you and anyone you live with should self-isolate immediately get a free PCR test (a test that is sent to a lab) to confirm your result as soon as possible.
  • Continue to self-isolate until you get the result of the PCR test. Follow the advice you're given when you get the result. 

More information on symptom free testing can be found on COVID-19 - Symptom-free testing for all residents (walsall.gov.uk)

Announcement: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/limit-on-mourners-at-funerals-to-be-removed (published 03 May 2021)

The Health and Safety Executive’s COVID-19 risk assessment guidance outlines key considerations for venue managers when determining sage capacity. https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/working-safely/risk-assessment.htm