Funerals and reducing the spread of COVID-19

 

It can be a difficult time when you have lost a friend or loved one. Planning a funeral can be overwhelming, especially during the COVID-19 global pandemic. If you are planning a funeral, this information can help you understand the current restrictions in place that will affect funeral arrangements.

Mandatory Registration of Attendance Details from December 5 2020- SafeWA

From 5 December 2020, the Western Australian Government has deemed that it will be mandatory for particular businesses and venues including those hosting funeral services to collect contact details of patrons, staff, visitors and contractors for COVID-19 contact tracing, if required. 

To help businesses and venues, the WA Government has developed the SafeWA app. This is a free system that uses QR codes to register attendance. It is quick, convenient, easy to use and contactless. The app can be downloaded from the Apple App or Google Play stores and, to make your registration as simple as possible, we strongly encourage people to download the app prior to visiting us. Visitors with the app are also able to check in others who do not have access to the app.

If you are attending a funeral with an indoor component, your Funeral Director will assist you with registration prior to the service. To assist Funeral Directors, we have distributed the QR codes for all Metropolitan Cemeteries Board sites but also have the site specific QR code displayed on entry points to facilities such as chapels where registration is required.

It is not mandatory to use SafeWA, but it is encouraged. Manual contact registers will also be available for those not using the app however registration, in-itself, is not optional. Registration is mandatory and not negotiable if you wish to access our facilities.

For further information on contact registers, please visit here. 

Existing COVID-19 provisions, including the need for attendees to comply with physical distancing requirements (2 square metres per person), remain. 

Maintaining a contact register is an extra safety measure and one of the most effective ways to control the spread of COVID-19 if the need arises. We appreciate your cooperation in working with us to keep Western Australia as safe as possible during these trying times.

Restrictions on the attendance of people at funerals

To help reduce the spread of COVID-19, the State Government has introduced provisions to prohibit certain activities and specific guidelines for funerals. 

Under Phase 4, the number of attendees permitted at a funeral is determined by the 2 square metre social distancing guideline. When arranging the venue, the number of attendees permitted inside the building is is determined by the size of the venue reserved for the service. All attendees are required to comply with physical distancing requirements (2 square metres per person).

In practical terms this means that the capacity of the chapels and condolence lounges at metropolitan Perth cemeteries has needed to be adjusted so as to meet the new 2 square metres distancing guideline. Where the number of people attending a funeral exceeds the venue capacity, these people are still able to attend the funeral but must remain in the outdoor gathering spaces.

Below is a list of the facilities and their associated capacity limits. We recommend that families liaise closely with their funeral director to reserve the facility that can accommodate the anticipated number of mourners.

Traditional Chapels and Lounges

Karrakatta

Norfolk Chapel – 125 people, Norfolk Lounge – 105 people

Brown Chapel – 75 people, Brown Lounge – 70 people

Dench Chapel – 45 people, Dench Lounge – 30 people

Fremantle:

East Chapel – 75 people, East Lounge 55 people

West Chapel – 200 people, West Lounge – 95 people 

Pinnaroo:

East Chapel – 100 people, East Lounge – 90 people

West Chapel – 115 people, West Lounge – 105 people

Mausolea and Jewish Prayer Halls:

Guildford

Mausoleum – 100 people

Jewish Prayer Hall – 40 people

Midland

Mausoleum – 8 people

Karrakatta

St Francis Chapel – 50 people

Chapel of the Holy Spirit – 30 people

Christ the Redeemer Chapel – 30 people

Chapel of Saint Jude – 38 people

Jewish Prayer Hall – 24 people

Fremantle

Mausoleum East Wing – 74 people

Mausoleum West Wing – 74 people 

Outdoor Funerals (all sites)

So long as physical distancing guidelines can be adhered to there is no defined capacity for an outdoor funeral however funerals which are anticipated to attract over 500 mourners are required to apply for a COVID Event Plan via the Department of Health. Applications should be from the organisation (i.e. the Funeral Director) hosting the service. For these large funerals the COVID Event Plan must be approved by the Department of Health prior to the service. Please be aware that the approval process can be lengthy. For more information on COVID Event Plans for outdoor 500+ attendee funerals, please visit the Department of Health website.

It is important to understand that these measures have been introduced to protect your health and well-being and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.

For more information on these provisions, visit the  WA Government website

For more information on physical distancing requirements, visit the WA Government website.

Travelling to funerals

The State Government has introduced restrictions on travel into Western Australia that have and can change on a regular basis with short notice to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Where restrictions apply, a person travelling to Western Australia may be exempt from the travel restrictions on compassionate grounds.

For more information on these travel restrictions, visit the WA Government website.

More information

It is important to note that the State Government is making continual changes as the State Emergency unfolds.

We recommend that you visit the State Government’s website to keep up to to date with additional changes. Visit the WA Government website.

 

MCB COVID-19 Response

 

The Metropolitan Cemeteries Board (MCB) continues to follow advice provided by the Department of Health and is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment to all client families, employees and our communities.

Appropriate measures and protocols have been implemented and continue to be developed to manage this situation; we are monitoring developments closely.

As a precautionary measure, we respectfully request that if you are experiencing symptoms similar to cold or flu that you:

  • do not attend funeral services and after-funeral gatherings.
  • refrain from coming onsite and reschedule any appointments that you have with us.

 

We are able to provide many of our services by phone and email and would suggest that these be the most appropriate ways to serve you at this point in time.

Please contact our Client Services team on 1300 793 109 or by emailing us at mcb@mcb.wa.gov.au should you like to speak with us.