Dunstable Cemetery – Covid-19 Pandemic – Changes to Burial Procedures
In response to the Covid-19 Pandemic the Council is working hard to keep everything running as smoothly as possible at Dunstable Cemetery but we do need to put some changes in place and further restrictions may be necessary in due course.
In line with the most recent Government guidance, burials at Dunstable Cemetery will continue to take place. FOR FULL BODY BURIALS – Mourners and those attending the funeral must be limited to no MORE THAN 30. FOR ASHES INTERMENTS THE MAXIMUM NUMBER OF MOURNERS ALLOWED IS SIX. Mourners will be required to keep a respectful distance of 2 metres / 6 feet from the graveside and from each other to maintain social distancing and to allow the funeral director or cemetery staff to remove the put-logs and lower the coffin.
Our cemetery chapel will no longer be available for funeral services and we would recommend that priests and ministers perform graveside services which should be limited in duration.
When processing to the grave space from the main gate, those persons on foot are asked to walk in pairs only and at a safe distance from other mourners. Handshakes and direct bodily contact should be discouraged. However, it is understood that family members may be distressed and may need some direct support.
The soil box which is normally offered for use to allow mourners to sprinkle soil on the coffin will no longer be made available. This will help further reduce cross contamination and ensure social distancing. Mourners are encouraged to use single flowers as a substitute.
The back-filling of grave spaces by family members will not be permitted and funeral bearers are required to undertake all coffin lowering duties.
These decisions have been taken to reduce the number of persons gathered together in line with social distancing measures, to protect our cemetery staff and mourners and to ensure that we have ongoing capacity to manage any increase in burials. Above all we hope that these measures will assist with overcoming this current health crisis whilst at the same time allowing the continuation of dignified burials.
Thank you for your cooperation.