Coronavirus information for births, marriages and deaths
We are working to minimise the impact of the coronavirus on bereavement and registration services. For that reason, we have introduced temporary changes to continue to reduce the risk of transmission.
Funerals, burials and cremations
Arranging a funeral, burial or cremation is a difficult thing to do at any time, and under the current circumstances even more so. Our cemeteries and crematorium remain open and we have introduced the following temporary changes:
Our office at Gilroes Crematorium remains open for appointments only. To make an appointment please phone 0116 373 7327.
To ensure funeral services can take place safely, we recommend that the maximum number of mourners attending a funeral service in a chapel does not exceed the following:
- Gilroes Crematorium chapels – maximum of 100 people (to include 70 people in main chapel and 30 people in side viewing chapel)
- Saffron Hill Cemetery chapel – maximum of 45 people
- We strongly recommend the continued wearing of face coverings when attending an indoor funeral service due to the confined nature of chapels.
- All visitors should continue to use the available hand sanitisers and/or hand washing facilities.
- Singing is permitted, however Hymn books will not be available to reduce the risk of contact transmission between mourners.
- Enhanced cleaning will take place between chapel services.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
Registering a death/still birth
Following temporary changes are in place until further notice and by appointment only:
- We are only registering deaths/still births which took place in the city by telephone
- The hospital where the death took place, or issuing GP, will send us the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD). They will also explain the process to you
- Once we have received the MCCD to our office, we will contact you by phone to register the death.
- We will send the relevant paperwork directly to your funeral director and chosen burial or cremation authority.
Registering a birth
We are not taking appointments to register a birth by telephone. You can request an appointment to register a birth online, find out full details on our register a birth page.
Marriages and civil partnerships
From 19 July, we encourage individuals to wear a face covering to prevent the spread of coronavirus. We also encourage attendees to take a lateral flow test prior to attending the ceremony. To help keep everyone safe, our staff will be wearing face coverings and will maintain social distancing in our buildings.
Bereavement information for families, friends and carers
The following information is for the families, friends and carers who have recently lost a loved one due to coronavirus. The information explains what happens next, what you need to do and what will be different in these exceptional circumstances. It has been produced by a number of local organisations in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, working together during the pandemic.
At this time, the organisations involved in the Local Resilience Partnership (known as LLR Prepared) are working with funeral directors in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland to help people affected by coronavirus.
Please don’t be alarmed that there might be people supporting you at this time who need to wear masks and goggles and other protective clothing to help stop the spread of the virus.
Depending on the circumstances of your loved one’s passing, for example whether they are either at home or in a hospital, your loved one will be taken to the hospital mortuary and looked after by NHS mortuary staff at the site or they will go to a funeral director of your choice. A medical practitioner who attended during the deceased person’s last illness (within 28 days) will complete the Medical Certificate of the Cause of Death (MCCD).
What hasn’t changed is that your loved one will receive the same care and attention as our trained professionals always give.
If your loved one passed away in hospital, and is being cared for in the hospital mortuary, as soon as you are able, please make contact with the funeral director who is making arrangements for your loved one – they will contact the mortuary and arrange to collect your loved one.
Bereavement services at the hospital (or your funeral director if you already have one) will give you advice on how to register your loved one’s death if you need their assistance – this is done by telephone only at the moment – contact details are below:
- Leicester death registrations: 0116 454 1000
You’ll need to contact a funeral director within the next 48 hours.
After your loved one is taken to the mortuary, it won’t be possible for you to visit or spend time with them, as this is not safe for you and your family.
We appreciate that this is difficult to hear, and that it might add to your distress, but this is to keep you and those around you safe and well.
This also means that you won’t be able to wash or prepare your loved one yourselves, but you can of course discuss washing, dressing and any religious observances with your funeral director. Please also see ‘Preparing for the funeral’ below.
Due to Covid-19 guidelines, you must self-isolate for 14 days isolation period from the last day that you had contact with your loved one.
If you haven’t got a funeral director in mind, you can find industry inspected local funeral directors on these websites:
- The National Association of Funeral Directors: funeral-directory.co.uk
- The National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors: saif.org.uk/members-search
Leicester Muslim Burial Council (A scheme has been set up, in line with PHE guidance, for trained volunteers from the Muslim community to ritually wash and prepare the body.) www.mbcol.org.uk.
During the current period there is a change to the way that all deaths are registered. All deaths are now being registered by telephone until further notice. Please do not go to your local Registration Office.
When a loved one dies, the doctor will advise you that the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD) has been sent directly to the relevant Registration Service. The Registration Service will then contact you to make arrangements to register the death by telephone.
The registrar will register the death and then issue the “Green Form” (Form 9) for burial or cremation directly to your chosen burial authority and copied to your funeral director.
For Leicester death registrations the registrars will advise on the process for obtaining certificates as they are operating slightly differently.
If the death is referred to the coroner, we will contact you when the paperwork has been released and arrange the appointment to register by telephone as above.
The Registrar will take some information from you to allow you to access the Tell Us Once system (which notifies other government departments, like the DVLA and DWP).
If you have a nominated funeral director who is collecting your loved one, they will contact you to arrange the funeral.
Your funeral director will work with you to help you lay your loved one to rest, whether that is a cremation or burial. The funeral should be held as soon as it is possible to do so.
The opportunity to attend the funeral of a loved one is so important for many of us. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, there will be restrictions on the number of people that can attend the funeral and on some of the rites you might usually observe.
At present, members of the deceased’s household and close family members (or close friends where family are unable to attend), should be allowed to attend the funeral* even if they are shielding or are in self-isolation as long as they are not displaying symptoms of the virus, no matter how mild.
This mean that no-one who has symptoms of COVID-19 (a persistent cough or a temperature) should attend a funeral.
You might also want to think about hosting a memorial service when it is safe to do so – meaning when it is safe to so and when government guidelines allow.
We know that some of this information will be upsetting, but it will help to stop the virus from spreading.
It’s important to note that it is still your right as next of kin to choose a burial or cremation in accordance with your loved one’s wishes, and that the right be buried in consecrated ground will be respected.
Losing a loved one can feel overwhelming, and may be made more distressing at this time, and in the circumstances. There are local and national organisations who can help you and your family, and a selection are listed below.
There are a number of organisations who can support you and your family during this distressing time, and you may also consider your local faith leaders and places of worship if you feel this would help.
- Faith and Chaplaincy at Leicester’s hospitals – find out more information at leicestershospitals.nhs.uk/patients/patient-and-visitor-services/faith-and-chaplaincy/
- Cruse - If you need support dealing with bereavement and grief during the coronavirus outbreak, Cruse has information on their website (cruse.org.uk). Cruse also operate a free helpline: 0808 808 1677
- The Laura Centre is a Leicester based charity to support people who have lost a child, or a child who is bereaved. thelauracentre.org.uk/
- The National Bereavement Partnership - COVID-19 Hub. The partnership (nationalbereavementpartnership.org) provides a platform for associated practical advice services, support assistance and where needed, counselling to all those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- For a step-by-step guide after a bereavement visit gov.uk/after-a-death. There is also a section on financial help with funeral costs on the government’s website: www.gov.uk/funeral-payments.
- The Compassionate Friends offer support to families after the death of a child of any age and from any cause: tcf.org.uk Alternatively, call: 0345 123 2304
- The Bereavement Advice Centre can be reached on 0800 634 9494
- Citizens Advice Bureau – citizensadvice.org.uk
- Samaritans – e-mail enquiries to mailto:email@example.com or visit website samaritans.org or call 116 123