It has been confirmed that most legal restrictions to control COVID-19 will be lifted from the 19th July 2021.
Government guidance on how to stay safe and help prevent the spread from 19 July 2021 states that in general, the risk of catching or passing COVID-19 is higher:
- In crowded spaces, where there are more people who might be infectious
- In enclosed indoor spaces where there is limited fresh air
Service Attendance Advice – From 19th July 2021 you will no longer need to stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with and there will be no limits on the number of people you can meet. As a result of this there will be no limit imposed on the number of people that can attend a funeral service in our chapels.
At maximum capacity the South Chapel can seat 80 people, allowing for 5 people to a bench. As the Government are still encouraging the public to exercise caution and consider the risks we do understand that there may be families arranging services that have concerns over gatherings in an enclosed indoor space with limited ventilation and fresh air. With this in mind a family/applicant may still choose to limit the number of mourners invited to the service, so to help families in making a personal choice on attendance we have assessed the space and the South Chapel can comfortably accommodate 48 people, allowing for 3 people to a bench, without being overcrowded.
The requirement to wear face coverings in law will be lifted from 19 July 2021. However, the Government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas. As the chapels are an enclosed indoor space with limited ventilation and fresh air, and may be crowded with people from multiple households, mourners attending services should continue to wear face coverings when gathered in the chapel.
Singing is no longer prohibited in the chapels but some activities, such as singing, generate more particles being released in to the air and can increase the risk of catching or passing on COVID-19. The risk is greatest where risk factors overlap, for example in crowded indoor spaces where people are singing and raising their voices. This should be considered by families when making a personal choice on music and singing at a service.
The guidance from the government is that while cases are high and rising, everybody needs to continue to act carefully and remain cautious. It is still possible to catch and spread COVID-19, even if you are fully vaccinated, and we are still in the third wave of this pandemic.
While no situation is risk free, there are actions we can take to protect ourselves and others around us. As COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, it is important that we all use personal judgement to manage our own risk and to help reduce the risk of catching or spreading COVID -19. In situations where there is a higher risk of catching or passing on COVID-19, you should be particularly careful to follow the Government guidance on keeping yourself and others safe.
Please remember everybody needs to continue to act carefully and remain cautious to keep yourself and others safe. It is important to consider that others may wish to take a more cautious approach as we open up. We should all be considerate of this, and provide the opportunity and space for others to reduce close contacts if they wish.
The Book of Remembrance Room is open with some restrictions in place on the number of visitors allowed in the room at any one time and with a one-way flow to enter and exit the room. We ask that when visiting you read and follow the clear guidance that is displayed on social distancing and hygiene.
For those that are unable to visit but still wish to see the Book of Remembrance a digital version is available online on our website.
The Garden of Remembrance is open to the public but please remember to be respectful of others when visiting. You should still make space for other people to keep their distance if they want to.
Please click on this link for an update on collecting unauthorised memorial items that were removed during our June 2021 garden clearance.
We are taking bookings for appointments to witness the scattering of ashes. Information is available here on booking and restrictions that will be in place to attend.
Our Office will be open to members of the public but there may still be enquiries that will need to be dealt with by appointment such as the scattering of ashes, collection of ashes and some Book of Remembrance enquiries. Any enquiries can still be dealt with on the telephone by contacting the Crematorium Office on (01329) 822533.
Please note that the contact information of any applicant/lead mourner arranging a cremation service or scattering appointment may now be shared with NHS Test and Trace. Along with a name, contact phone number and date of visit, which we already collect for ordinary business, we will be collecting information on the number of people at the service and arrival and departure time in our chapels/in the gardens.
For further advice for mourners on attending services at Portchester Crematorium our public notice can be found here. You can also access information on actions you can take to reduce the chance of spreading COVID-19 via this link.
Joint Statement from APCC, Cremation Society, FBCA, ICCM Coronavirus Act 2020 (Commencement No. 1) Regulations 2020
Sharing of Information with NHS Test and Trace Notice