During this time of uncertainty, it's natural to wonder how the coronavirus (COVID-19) may change the terms of your funeral plan or the funeral plan you’d like to buy.

Especially as we start to think more about protecting our loved ones if the worse were to happen.

We have put together some helpful FAQs to help reassure you of the current situation.

Due to the ever-changing advice regarding Coronavirus, there is a chance this information may change. The information within this article stands correct as of 24/11/20.

Can I still take out a funeral plan?

Yes, you can still take out a funeral plan as funerals are still going ahead in the UK.

Fortunately, as lock-down eases, there are now fewer restrictions in place for funerals.

In the circumstance that you do pass-away during this time, and have a funeral plan in place, you may find that the following restrictions apply:

  • Number of mourners attending the service
  • Number of mourners travelling in a limousine
  • Embalming of the body (if applicable)

You may also find that there’s less flexibility for the time and date of the funeral.

New government guidance has advised that up to 30 people can attend a funeral service in England.

In Scotland, the maximum is 20 people, and in Wales, the attendance should be kept to a minimum.

Certain restrictions remain in place to keep you safe and social distancing must still be practised.

Please note, we've also compiled a Coronavirus and life insurance FAQs.

To find out more on the restrictions of Co-op funeral plans visit: www.coop.co.uk/funeralcare/coronavirus.

How can I arrange a funeral?

Funeral arrangements can be made over the phone or by email.

If you do need to visit the funeral home, then current social distancing rules must be followed.

Co-op funeralcare will allow a maximum of 2 visitors at one time to their funeral homes or to the chapel of rest.

Where can the funeral be held?

The Church of England are now starting to allow funeral services to take place.

A safe number of mourners can attend the service, and current social distancing guidelines must be followed.

You may wish to check the Church of England and Church of Scotland websites to keep up to date with current guidance.

How many people can attend the funeral?

Public Health England (PHE) have recommended that a maximum of 30 people should attend a funeral service.

However, the venue where the funeral service will be held will determine the maximum number of mourners who are able to attend and maintain this safe distance.

Also, this may change if your area goes into a local lockdown.

Who can attend the funeral?

It’s up to you who attends the funeral, as long as the maximum number of people doesn’t go above 30.

High-risk groups should not attend, this includes those over 70, pregnant or with low immunity.

Social distancing rules must be adhered to for mourners who are not in the same household or bubbles.

Anyone self-isolating should not attend a funeral.

What other restrictions are there?

  • A safe distance of at least 2 metres (3 steps) should be maintained between individuals unless they are part of the same household
  • The number of passengers allowed to travel in a limousine to and from the funeral service are limited to a maximum of 4 if they’re from the same household (including support bubbles). If passengers are from different households, only a maximum of 2 will be allowed to travel in a limousine
  • The coffin may not be carried and mourners may be asked not to touch the coffin
  • Handshaking has been discouraged between ministers, celebrants and funeral directors
  • Mourners have been strongly advised not to take part in any rituals or practices that bring them into close contact with the body of someone that’s passed away from COVID-19 or had symptoms of the virus (as there’s a small risk of transmission)

Is it possible to view the funeral service online?

Family members who aren’t able to attend the funeral may be able to view the funeral service online via live streaming.

Get in touch with your funeral plan provider who’ll be able to advise if there are live streaming or recording facilities available at your chosen crematorium.

Can I delay the funeral?

At this stage, it’s unclear how long some restrictions may be in place, therefore funeral providers would hesitate to delay a funeral indefinitely.

You may consider organising a wake or memorial service at a later date when the restrictions have been lifted (and gatherings are permitted).

What if I have difficulty paying my funeral plan?

Under normal circumstances, if you were to miss three payments in a row, your funeral plan could be cancelled.

However, under these extenuating circumstances, providers may be a little more flexible than normal.

If you’ve run into financial difficulties and think you may struggle to pay for your plan, then get in touch with your funeral plan provider.

If you arranged a Co-op funeral plan through Reassured and you have further questions, then visit www.coop.co.uk/funeralcare/coronavirus or give them a call on 0800 088 4872.

You can also find more information at the National Association of Funeral Directors.

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At Reassured, we will provide you with quotes from Co-op Funeral Care, Dignity Funeral Services and Simplicity Cremations.

All of the funeral plans we provide are fully regulated by the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA) ensuring you and your money are protected.

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