Coronavirus (Covid-19) andthe right to be ground buried or cremated

| In Articles - Rights | 1st May 2022

They are in discussions government's plans for mandatory cremation if the reason of death is coronavirus but for the moment this do not apply.

Ground buried or cremation after coronavirus death

According to the current legislation, a dead body can be ground buried or cremated, depending of the wishes the person had before death or depending on the next of kin decision, or religion. Only where is the case and nothing from the above can be done, cremation will be used.

With the current Coronavirus pandemic, drastic rules had been put in discussion because of the enormous number of deaths per day, and the difficulty to deal with this situation, plus the infection that can be a danger for other people if the body will be ground buried.

As we know, Jewish and Muslim strictly forbids cremation, so this new law that will force any person who died because of coronavirus to be cremated, might never be voted to happen.

Even with creation as an option, in the last months, crematories had hard times to deal with the increased number of requests. Most of them can cremate 1 dead per hour.

From what we expect, local or national authorities will be directly powered to decide whether a deceases person will be buried or cremated .

If you find yourself in one of this unpleasant situation to take care of a loved one who passes away and you need to organise a funeral, check with your local authorities what policies apply in you area. For more guidance about what to do, ask representative of faith communities and cultural groups. Your funeral director can give you more advises on how to organise and what restrictions apply. Is important to keep in mind that not always will be possible to bury a deceased person in the usual 72 hours, because of the current pandemic and the increased number of requests.

As with the current pandemic, many restrictions and recommendations apply in terms of people who can attend a funeral, being limited only to members of family or a few friends where family does not exist, and the distance of 2 meters between individuals is a must, excepting in the situation of transportation.

A recent amendment to the legislation stipulates

In carrying out functions under this Schedule,  local authorities and the appropriate national authorities must have regard to the desirability of disposing of a dead person’s body or other remains—
(a)in accordance with the person’s wishes, if known, or
(b)otherwise in a way that appears consistent with the person’s religion or beliefs, if known.

Coronavirus Act 2020

Local authorities will have to follow guidance issued by national authorities when exercising their power in relation to a Coronavirus death if the body will be ground buried or cremated, and the Government powers will only be used in the most extreme situation where the public health is at risk.