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SAIF announces regional strategy for West Midland authorities amid coronavirus pandemic

SAIF has announced a regional strategy has been adopted by the seven West Midlands authorities regarding funerals during the Covid-19 pandemic, which will come into effect on 14 April.

A number of protocols have been agreed and will be implemented across all of the authorities, which include a maximum of six mourners will be allowed to attend cremation services at the crematoria and at grave- side burials. 

In most instances this will be the immediate family of the deceased. It is for each family to determine who attends.

The gates (including pedestrian) at Gornal Wood and Stourbridge Crematoria will be closed completely and only opened by staff for people attending funeral services. This adheres to recent government guidance. 

The cemeteries located at Dudley, Brierley Hill, Lye, Cradley and Halesowen will currently remain open as normal as they are exempt from the guidance due to not having a crematorium located on the sites.

Funeral director bearers must convey the coffin from the hearse to the catafalque and exit the chapel before mourners can enter, as well as all funeral services in the chapel will need to have curtains closed at the committal.

SAIF also announced that certain cultural rituals that are part of honouring the deceased will also be suspended during this time.  These include the witnessing of the coffin charge for cremation and the back- filling of graves by families on burials.

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