Coronavirus guidance for funeral directors

Support provided by Scottish Government

What does this involve?

This guidance is primarily designed to assist funeral directors in Scotland in the management of the deceased and the organisation of funeral services for those confirmed or presumed to have contracted COVID-19 prior to death.

This guidance has been developed to ensure that:

  • those likely to have died with COVID-19 and their family are treated with sensitivity, dignity and respect
  • the differing cultural practices and rites of passage observed in Scotland by a variety of communities are respected and adhered to as closely as circumstances permit, with safety being paramount
  • a safe and healthy working environment continues to be provided for staff working in a funeral director business
  • Funeral Directors work as safely as possible, bearing in mind the challenges of transporting and caring for the deceased
  • Funeral Directors are supported in the management of family expectations around funeral arrangements, bereavement and the grieving process; which will be especially difficult during this pandemic

As the current COVID-19 pandemic progresses, alongside understanding of the disease and a greater evidence base, further lessons are likely to be learned with best practice developed.

This guidance will remain under review in response to such information and be consistent with relevant legislation, NHS Inform and Public Health Scotland documentation.

The guidance is a 19 page PDF and contains the following sections:

  • Certification and registration of death
  • COVID-19 infection risk from deceased individuals
  • Infection control precautions
  • Preparation of body for burial or cremation
  • Management of non-mortuary spaces
  • Current legislative provisions for burial or cremation
  • Funeral services and supporting the family
  • Collection of ashes
  • Test and Protect

What does this cost?

This is a free service.

Who is this for?

This guidance is for Funeral Directors.

Important information

This guidance is one of a set of documents about how to work safely in different types of workplace.

It was updated on 25 November 2020 to include safer workplaces guidance and new levels guidance. 

Next steps

Visit the Scottish Government website for more information and to read the full guidance.

Support provided by Scottish Government

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