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Changes to Cemeteries service during COVID-19 pandemic FAQs

 

Council Services Update

What cemetery services are currently not available? Toggle accordion

Due to the current situation, regrettably we are unable to offer the following services:

  • Interments of cremated remains
  • Selection of grave
  • Memorial applications
  • Grave ownership transfers (unless required for burial to proceed)
  • Genealogy information requests.  
  • Archive research requests
  • General enquiries from visitors at Hatfield Road Cemetery office

Online resources

Are the Cemeteries currently open to visitors? Toggle accordion

Hatfield Road Cemetery  and London Road in St Albans, and Westfield Road Cemetery in Harpenden have reopened.

Are there toilet facilities at the Cemeteries? Toggle accordion

Yes, there are toilet facilities at each of the Cemeteries we manage. The facilities at Hatfield Road Cemetery in St Albans and Westfield Road in Harpenden are open as normal.

However, the toilet facilities at London Road Cemetery are currently closed for refurbishment.

Can we hold and a graveside service? Toggle accordion

Graveside services are still permitted although restricted to 30 minutes per service with 5 mourners in attendance.

This is necessary to ensure social distancing and limit the spread of Coronavirus.

Whilst we appreciate that this situation is very difficult for all concerned, exiting the cemetery grounds in a timely manner allows our cemetery staff to continue to attend other burials and carry out other essential work.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

How many mourners are currently allowed to attend a graveside service? Toggle accordion

Attendance at funerals is limited to no more than 5 mourners, regrettably additional mourners are not permitted to wait in their cars during the graveside service.

Please maintain a distance of 2m between yourself and other mourners at all times unless you are from the same household.

Mourners should also follow government advice on social distancing when travelling to and from the funeral gathering.

Mourners should avoid any direct face-to-face or physical contact, for example, shaking hands or hugging each other unless they are part of the same household.

 

Who can attend a funeral? Toggle accordion

Please do not attend a burial if you or anyone in your household has suspected or confirmed COVID-19 symptoms, or if you are classed as a vulnerable person.

More information

How can we access the cemetery to attend a funeral? Toggle accordion

Cemetery staff will meet the funeral cortege at the appropriate cemetery to greet the funeral director.  Funeral Directors are respectfully requested to adhere to permitted numbers in attendance.

When attending burials if you need to talk to our cemetery or grounds maintenance staff, please keep a 2 metre distance.

Who can I speak with for help with bereavement or grief which may have been intensified by isolation? Toggle accordion

There are a number of organisations that can provide help and support.

Griefchat.co.uk

Cruse

Samaritans

Is Hatfield Road Cemetery chapel available for hire? Toggle accordion

The Hatfield Road chapel is closed for funeral services.

What do I do when someone dies? Toggle accordion

We understand it can be difficult and stressful process which can be daunting; the government has provided step-by-step guidance.

gov.uk

Can I get help with funeral costs? Toggle accordion

If you are arranging a funeral and you are on a low income you may be eligible for help via a Funeral Payment.

The applicant must be in receipt of a qualifying means-tested benefit. However, payment may not be awarded if an immediate family member is not receiving a qualifying benefit. Savings over a certain amount will be considered. You will receive a single lump sum payment, which must be claimed within 3 months of the funeral. If there are assets in the estate then the Social Fund will need reimbursement.  More information about this is at www.gov.uk/funeralpayment and the Social Fund technical guidance

Please see links below for possible help with funeral costs:

gov.uk

www.quakersocialaction.org.uk/we-can-help/helping-funerals/down-earth

www.yourfuneralchoice.com/

www.castad.org.uk/docs/Funerals%20Report.pdf

How can I contact the Cemetery Office? Toggle accordion

We are currently receiving a large volume of enquires and we are prioritising those for burials via Funeral Directors.

If you do have a questions please call our information and messaging service on 01727 819362 and a member of the team will contact you as soon as possible.