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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 due to coronavirus in hospital, 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 has passed away due to coronavirus outside of hospital a special team, called the Pandemic Multiagency Response Teams (PMART) will visit the family. These teams have been set up to reduce the demand on the London Ambulance Service. The teams will prepare the report and help families and loved ones make arrangements regarding funeral directors and transportation. 

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 10 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.

When attending a funeral you should remain at least 2 metres apart from other people, 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. 

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. 

For the full list of the Funeral Standards, please click here.

Cemetery access 

The borough's cemeteries are open for pedestrian access only and car parks are closed. 

We understand how difficult losing a loved one can be and that these new measures will make it more so, but we - along with other London boroughs - are having to carry out these measures to keep as many people safe as possible.

Woolwich, Charlton, Plumstead and Greenwich cemeteries will be closed at 4pm each day. This arrangement will be kept under constant review, and maybe subject to change with little or no notice, given the changing nature of the current situation.

Eltham Cemetery grounds will be open at weekends only, from 9am to 4pm starting from Saturday 2 May.

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