Visiting a cemetery or crematorium

The government have announced that from Monday 19 July there are no legal limits on the number of people who can attend funerals or commemorative events. You will not need to stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with, and venues are not required to follow social distancing rules. However, keeping your distance and limiting close contact can help reduce the risk of catching or passing on COVID-19.

What does this mean for me?

Our cemeteries, crematoria and gardens of remembrance are open to visitors as usual. This includes:

  • Bierton Crematorium
  • Chilterns Crematorium
  • Great Missenden Cemetery
  • High Wycombe Cemetery
  • Holtspur Cemetery, Broad Lane, Beaconsfield
  • Parkside Cemetery, Windsor Road, Hedgerley
  • Shepherds Lane Cemetery, Shepherds Lane, Beaconsfield
  • Stoke Poges Memorial Gardens

All those attending must follow the government guidance on staying alert and safe. If you are clinically vulnerable and wish to attend a funeral or burial service please make your funeral director aware of this so that we can assist with your requirements.

You can find more information on the full capacity numbers for our crematorium chapels and guidance on wearing face coverings if attending a service at Chilterns Crematorium or Bierton Crematorium.

People who are symptomatic should not attend

Anyone who has 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), should not attend a funeral. You should immediately self-isolate, follow the stay at home guidance, and request a test online, or by contacting NHS 119 via telephone if you do not have internet access.

People who are required to self-isolate or quarantine should not attend

If you have been instructed by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate because you have tested positive for COVID-19, or you are the close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you should not attend a funeral.

Please read the attending a funeral if you are exempt from self-isolation, or quarantine following international travel government information.

It is a legal offence for a person who is required to self-isolate to attend a funeral under any circumstances other than the funeral of a close family member. Even if you are a close family member of the deceased, we strongly recommend that you attend remotely to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread to other mourners. You could also consider postponing the service until you are well enough to attend safely.

If after careful consideration of the risk you choose to attend a funeral in person then you must follow the government guidance and:

  • advise your funeral director/organiser and other mourners that you are in self-isolation, and do not attend at the same time as another mourner who may be clinically vulnerable or clinically extremely vulnerable
  • maintain a distance of at least 2 metres between yourself and others at all times
  • practise strict hand and respiratory hygiene by:
  1. wearing a surgical-grade Type IIR face mask or higher grade, properly fitting, to minimise any risk of viral transmission from yourself to others. If a respirator mask is used (for example N95), this should be non-valved
  2. washing your hands more often than usual with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or using a hand sanitiser
  3. avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  4. covering your coughs or sneezes

Any mourner who comes into close contact with you during the ceremony (for example, to console or support you) may then be required to self-isolate. Other mourners need to be aware of this prior to attending.

Track and Trace

We keep records of those who arrange a funeral or burial service at our cemeteries and crematoria and will provide this information to the NHS Track and Trace service if requested to do so. If your information is passed to the Track and Trace service then you will probably be asked to provide the details of attendees at the funeral or burial service in order to assist with contact tracing. You should keep a list of the people who attend to help with this process.