Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for burial and cremation authorities

Published: 30 Oct 2020
Last updated: 27 Apr 2021 - see all updates

This guidance is for burial and cremation authorities to help manage their services and also their funeral services during the current pandemic.

14 page PDF

515.6 kB

14 page PDF

515.6 kB

Contents
Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for burial and cremation authorities
Infection risk from deceased individuals

14 page PDF

515.6 kB

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 [1]. 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 [2].  

[1] 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’


First published: 30 Oct 2020 Last updated: 27 Apr 2021 -