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How to Plan a Funeral During the COVID-19 Restrictions


To minimise the spread of COVID-19 virus, the Australian Government has imposed strict social distancing measures.

These laws restrict the number of guests that can attend essential (and non-essential) indoor and outdoor gatherings, and the proximity at which people can be near each other.

Such measures are having a dramatic impact on the way families plan and host funerals during the COVID-19 restrictions.

In order to host a funeral service that will satisfy your family and honour the memory of your loved one – while complying with social distancing laws – here are some simple guidelines you can follow.

Consider hosting an outdoor service

Under the current social distance laws up to 10 people are allowed to attend a funeral service.

In addition to this, each person must stand at least 1.5 metres apart from each other at both indoor and outdoor gatherings.

Depending on your budget and the type of service you’d like to hold, this may limit your options to hire an indoor venue. A venue that is too small may not comply with social distancing requirements, and a venue too large may not fit your budget.

To compensate for this, consider hosting an outdoor funeral service. In the right outdoor setting, you and your family will have enough space to remain at a safe social distance, yet still be together in the spirit of the service.

Ask your funeral director if they can suggest suitable and conveniently located outdoor venues in your local area.

For advice on funeral planning during the COVID-19 restrictions, call our 24 hour number on 1300 906 060.

Live streaming

You will very likely want to have more than 10 people attend the funeral service.

But, under the current restrictions, you must make the difficult choice as to decide who will attend the service in person.

One way to involve those who cannot attend is to livestream the service on a video streaming platform. This way your close family and friends, wherever they are in the world, can watch the service in real-time or later on from the comfort of their home.

Popular platforms like FaceTime, Skype, and Zoom have made it incredibly easy to record and share real-time video. And many funeral service providers have partnered up with their preferred platform to provide the best possible service to their customers.

If requested, your funeral director will guide you through the technology and set everything up for you, ensuring it is ready to use on the day. Cameras are placed in discreet yet strategic locations, so as to capture every crucial moment – but without disrupting the service itself. Plus, the high definition video feed provides a clear image that allows your remote viewers to experience the service as if they were really there.

Avoid embalming where possible

Embalming is not recommended for bodies that died from, or was suspected of dying from, complications due to COVID-19, as it is currently unknown whether embalming is safe to do so.

If you’d still like to embalm, make sure the embalmer follows strict infection prevention and control measures when handling bodies. It is also not recommended for family members to participate in embalming at this time – along with dressing the deceased.

Consider the health and safety of your family

If you or any family member has had close contact with a deceased person who was diagnosed with COVID-19, you should follow public health advice. First, get tested. Then self-quarantine or isolate for the recommended 14 day period.

During this time, you may want to reschedule the service until you and other at-risk family members are well enough to attend.

If you take this option, notify your funeral director as soon as possible, and they will take care of the arrangements for you.

For more advice on funeral planning during the COVID-19 restrictions, call Funerals of Compassion today on 1300 906 060 or enquire now.

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