Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): local death management - statutory guidance for local authorities

Statutory guidance relating to Schedule 28 of the Coronavirus Act (2020) which introduced new powers for local authorities and government to support the resilience of local death management systems, and step in if they become overwhelmed.

39 page PDF

1.1 MB

39 page PDF

1.1 MB

Coronavirus (COVID-19): local death management - statutory guidance for local authorities
Annex B: Template for using the information-sharing powers (Part 1)

39 page PDF

1.1 MB

Annex B: Template for using the information-sharing powers (Part 1)

Local authorities should use this template when requesting information using the information-sharing powers in Part 1, Schedule 28 of the Coronavirus Act 2020.

As set out in paragraph 2.5 of the guidance, local authorities can seek information without using these powers - in most cases this will be the fastest way of getting information, and industry and other organisations have already demonstrated willingness to support data collection efforts. However, these powers can be used if normal processes are not working, or these powers are considered likely to be the most effective way of getting information.

To: [Organisation / individual's name]
Organisation / individual's address/email address]

Request for Information under Schedule 28, Part 1, paragraph 1(1) of the Coronavirus Act 2020

[Local authority] requires you to supply the information set out below in the form and manner specified, for the purposes of ascertaining capacity within [local authority's] area to deal with the transportation, storage or disposal of dead bodies or other human remains. This request is made under paragraph 1(1) of Schedule 28 to the Coronavirus Act 2020 ("the Act").[7]

Information requested

1) Please provide the information set out below to the recipients listed in paragraph 2 and [by the date OR by the dates OR as set out] in paragraph 3:

a) [Please list the information you are requesting here. Be as specific and clear as possible with any information requests to help ensure the information you receive is useful. Examples of the type of information that you could request are set out in Annex B(i).]


2) The recipient[s] mentioned in paragraph 1 are:

a) [Insert recipient name and address/email address]

b) [Insert recipient name and address/email address]

Timing of information

3) The information set out in paragraph 1 must be provided by [date] [mandatory]. [Optional: specify other requirements, e.g. one-off or ongoing request, how often information should be provided if ongoing (for example this may be twice weekly if used to support Local Resilience Forums' data returns), etc.]

Other requirements

4) Please provide this information [specify how the information is to be provided [mandatory] and in what form [optional]]

Important information relating to this notice

5) It is an offence to fail, without reasonable excuse, to comply with this request or to knowingly or recklessly give false information in response to this request.[8]

6) Information provided in response to this request may only be used or disclosed for the above stated purpose or for the purpose of complying with an enactment, and it is an offence to use or disclose it otherwise.[9] This request does not require or authorise a disclosure which would contravene the data protection legislation[10] or is prohibited by any of Parts 1 to 7 or Chapter 1 of Part 9 of the Investigatory Powers Act 2016. Confidential and market-sensitive information will be treated appropriately and confidentially. Data will be handled, stored and destroyed in line with the data protection legislation.

If you have any questions about this request, please contact [relevant contact at local authority].

[Name and job title]
[Local authority]

Annex B (i): Examples of types of information that could be requested:

a) Information about capacity of burial grounds, including space for individual plots available for use for burials.

b) Baseline storage capacity[11] and type - e.g. freezer, refrigeration or cold room.

c) Information about any staff shortages, considering the necessary training levels of those staff working for a Funeral Director including staff qualifications, training undertaken, and experience.

d) Data on current and anticipated capacity from Funeral Directors.

e) Data on practices being undertaken at funerals, such as number of attendees.

f) Information on available land for potential burial sites.

g) Information on available slots for cremations.

h) Number of vehicles available.

i) Details on standard operating hours.

j) Details on the geographical area generally served.