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Funeral firms adapt due to virus

  • New guidelines: Normal memorial services will now be restricted to only allow immediate family due to the Covid-19 pandemic. (File photograph)

Funeral directors have adapted to the new normal so families can still mourn their loved ones despite restrictions imposed over the Covid-19 pandemic.

Leon Amis, the owner of Amis Memorial Chapel in Warwick, said yesterday that funeral services would still go ahead, but with a restricted number of mourners.

He said: “What’s being done now is graveside services for the immediate family.

“At a later date, they can hold a memorial service if they wish. We give families a chance to have a viewing and we can control numbers of people here at the parlour.”

Mr Amis said funeral services had complied with an order that restricted public gatherings to ten people, imposed last Sunday when David Burt, the Premier, introduced tighter controls.

He added: “We are following all the other precautions for cleanliness — we have hand sanitiser where folks normally sign the register book.

“Families understand the situation. For some, it’s inconvenient, but we have to follow rules.”

The Amis chapel has eight funerals scheduled, two of them cremations — in line with normal numbers.

Reginald Rawlins, the owner of the Bulley-Graham-Rawlins funeral home in Pembroke, said that the number of cremations was “about the same”.

Mr Rawlins said: “At this time with the coronavirus, cremation provides for a faster option if people want that.”

Mr Rawlins added: “The rules are quite clear. Churches are closed. The bottom line is funeral services are graveside with family only.

“The main thing is abiding by the rules laid down by the Ministry of Health, with crowds down to ten.”

He said families “absolutely” understood the need for caution.

Mr Rawlins added: “No one is being foolish about it — everyone is just following guidelines.”