Coronavirus COVID-19: Latest updates

Many council services are reduced or disrupted. Check our coronavirus page for the most up-to-date information. Read the latest and sign up for updates.

When someone dies

When someone has passed away, there is a lot of organising to do. During these unprecedented times the normal processes have had to change but, wherever possible, we are working with families to carry out their wishes as much as we are able to. 

Cruse Bereavement Care in Greenwich offers support, advice and information for children, young people and adults when someone dies.

What happens when someone dies

If someone passes away, the doctor will complete the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD) form. This will then be scanned and emailed to the Register Office. 

If someone passes away outside of hospital, a practitioner will visit the place of death, and issue and scan the legal documentation to the Register Office. The family can then contact their chosen Funeral Director to collect the deceased.

Registering a death

Families of a deceased person, whether they have passed away due to coronavirus or not, will be asked not to visit the Register Office to notify the death of their loved one in person. Instead, the hospital, hospice or GP will send us the paperwork electronically and include contact details for the family of the deceased. Registrars will then contact the family to arrange the death registration by telephone. 

Cremation and burial funerals

We understand how difficult this will be for the families and friends of lost loved ones, however the current government guidance is in place for public safety reasons.

There is a limit of up to 20 people allowed to attend a funeral (whether the person has passed away due to coronavirus or not).

This should only include members of the person's household, close family members and in the absence of their household or family members, friends may attend.

As per government advice, anyone who has had contact with your loved one will need to self-isolate for 14 days from their last time of contact, and anyone who is showing signs of COVID-19 should not attend.

We are currently operating the 1 metre-plus social distancing government guidance so we can accommodate more mourners into our Chapels. Therefore, we strongly advise all mourners, Funeral Directors and Officiants to wear a mask.

All visitors, mourners and Funeral Directors are required to maintain social distancing - 1 metre apart unless from the same household or where families choose to invite more than 20 mourners to a service, a maximum of 20 are allowed.

Additional mourners are not allowed to stand outside the Chapels or in the car park as this prevents safe passage for other families attending their service.

We ask everyone to follow hand hygiene and social distancing advice when travelling to and from the funeral and avoid direct face-to-face or physical contact such as hugging, unless you are part of the same household. 

Hand washing facilities and toilets are available for you to maintain your hand hygiene when visiting our Cemeteries and Crematorium.

Woolwich New Cemetery does not have toilets.

Before and after each service, staff will clean and disinfect the area where the service has taken place, as well as frequently touched surfaces to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. 

Read more for a full list of the Funeral Standards.

Cemetery access 

Charlton, Eltham, Greenwich, Plumstead and Woolwich (new) will be open every day, from 9am to 4pm.

If you have any specific requirements regarding access, please call 020 8856 0100 or email parks@royalgreenwich.gov.uk to arrange an appointment.