BEREAVED families are being given guidance relating to funeral arrangements during the coronavirus crisis.

Leading UK funeral director David Collingwood highlighted how the outbreak is affecting the way services are conducted.

The director of funerals at Co-op Funeralcare, said in the current climate: “Funerals aren’t changing, they have changed.”

He said the latest guidelines on funeral arrangements are designed to ensure safety of clients and colleagues, still enabling bereaved families to deliver a, “personal and fitting tribute” to their loved ones.

“We aim to protect our communities and have therefore had to make some tough but responsible choices to help families and individuals say goodbye in the safest possible way.

“Where crematoriums have filming facilities, in most circumstances they should be available to families who wish to access them, and the systems should be resilient enough to cope with the extra demand.

The latest guidelines issued by the company, Britain’s biggest funeral provider, include a temporary cessation on the use of limousines in funerals, with arrangements carried out, wherever possible, over the phone, but, if necessary, only two clients should meet funeral arrangers.

The company is asking that no more than ten mourners attend funeral gatherings to meet social distancing guidelines, but individual crematoria and cemeteries have different restrictions depending on the size and lay-out of individual facilities.

Durham Crematorium superintendent and registrar, Graham Harrison and colleagues are working closely with funeral directors to ensure minimal disruption for bereaved families.

The South Road crematorium and cemetery is restricting numbers attending to 15, limited to members of the deceased’s household, close family or, in their absence, a family friend.

Services are limited to 20 minutes, while the cost of web casts absorbed to enable family members to watch services the following day, but, at the moment, live streaming is not available.

The crematorium is working closely with funeral directors on appropriate timings for funerals, while a weekend service has been introduced with prices reduced to a standard rate.

Further information is available via, or on 0191-384 8677.