Shropshire Council

Latest changes to bereavement services during the coronavirus outbreak

22 April 2020 Last updated at 12:43

Registering a death

All death registration appointments are suspended with immediate effect due to the government requirement that all citizens must stay at home. Emergency legislation should be passed later this week to enable us to take registrations of deaths over the telephone. If you suffer a bereavement and need to register a death, please do not go to hospital, hospice or GP practice to collect the medical certificate of cause of death, your doctor will email this in to Shropshire Registration Service. Please phone the Council on 0345 678 9016. You will be asked for your name and contact details, the name of the deceased, their date of death and place of death, these details will be taken and passed to the registration service and we will contact you as soon as we are able to proceed with a registration.

Funeral gatherings

With immediate effect and until further notice, funeral gatherings in the chapel at Longden Road Cemetery and the service room/chapel at Emstrey Crematorium, Shrewsbury, must be limited to no more than ten mourners made up from members of the person’s household and close family members, or, if the above are unable to attend, close friends. By close family members we mean grandparents, parents, siblings, spouses and offspring. This is because of the small size of the chapel/service room and the need to comply with social distancing requirements.

We request that anyone who is showing symptoms of coronavirus (Covid-19) doesn't attend a funeral service or visit a council cemetery due to the risk that they pose to others. Live streaming of funeral services can be arranged from Emstrey Crematorium - please speak with your chosen funeral director to make the necessary arrangements.

Close family members of the deceased may be required to self isolate at the time the funeral is held. In such cases those mourners can attend as long as they're not showing actual symptoms of coronavirus (Covid-19). However, please ensure that your chosen funeral director is aware. You must make your own travel arrangements and should not attend if you know that a mourner attending is in the extremely clinically vulnerable category.

Public Health England issued new advice for funerals on 19 April 2020.

We request that for those who do attend, and where mourners aren't from the same household, that social distancing requirements are strictly adhered to. By social distancing we mean at least a two-metre gap of separation.

Visiting our cemeteries

Our cemeteries are now open usual hours but with certain restrictions in place. 

Until further notice, our cemeteries at Alberbury, Church Pulverbatch, Great Ness, Minsterley, Westbury and Longden Road, Shrewsbury are open to those attending a funeral, and for those visiting a grave or graves to pay their respects, to tend to a grave or to lay flowers or similar on a grave.

Increased numbers of funerals are taking place at this present time. To minimise the risk of spreading infection please don't use the cemeteries solely for your permitted daily exercise, as better options exist elsewhere to safely do this. 

We request that visitors to graves sensitively respect the privacy of funeral gatherings.    

  • If you're showing symptoms of coronavirus (Covid-19) please don't visit the cemeteries due to the risk that they pose to others.  
  • If you're self-isolating due to another member of the household being unwell with symptoms of coronavirus (Covid-19) you may attend a funeral in some circumstances. Please speak with and notify your chosen funeral director.
  • If you're self-isolating due to another member of the household being unwell with symptoms of coronavirus (Covid-19) please defer your routine visit to tend to a grave until your period of self-isolation has expired.

We also request visitors to:

  • Abide by social distancing requirements,
  • Keep at least two metres apart from other visitors to the cemeteries,
  • Only engage with onsite staff if absolutely essential such as an emergency situation and
  • Avoid using the onsite taps/watering cans/bins to reduce the risk of spreading infection.   

The opening hours of the cemeteries will be kept under review. Please check these webpages for the most up to date information.

Find out more about visiting cemeteries or attending a funeral