COVID-19 infection risk from deceased individuals
Current evidence indicates that there is a small risk of COVID-19 infection from the deceased. Any infection risk from people who have died as a result of presumed COVID-19, primarily arises as a result of aerosols generated in the post-mortem handling of the deceased, particularly the recently deceased . Direct handling of the deceased is carried out by funeral directors and separate guidance for this sector has been published.
Specific COVID-19 infection risk to burial ground and crematorium staff from handling the deceased in a sealed coffin is negligible.
Normal infection control procedures should be followed when dealing with any potential spillage/leakage from any sealed coffin if the deceased died as a result of a notifiable disease .
 Public Heath England (PHE), Guidance for care of the deceased with suspected or confirmed coronavirus, subheading ‘risk of transmission of COVID-19 from an infected body’