UPDATE | 5.30pm AEDT: Covid-19 Funerals and ‘Mass Gatherings’

We want you to know the AIFP are doing our best to stay across funeral related issues.
The National Cabinet is meeting again today. It is unlikely they will be discussing information and advice related to funerals.
If you have any questions please call the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398
Any specific state based updates from Members or independent industry professionals are welcome
if they are provided with a verifiable source.

As this post is being written, the AIFP President, Carly Dalton is writing a letter of support of the AFDA’s and the NFDAA’s push to have funeral service providers ie. transfer services, funeral directors and funeral homes as designated essential services. Protective equipment is currently difficult to obtain as most related resources are being allocated to emergency services and hospitals as designated essential services. Given that funeral directors and transfer services are at the coal face of handling deceased persons – a role that will only increase as deaths from Covid-19 occur – achieving this designation is vital for their, and our communities’ ongoing health and safety.

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The AIFP’s current interpretation of the Victorian information and advice  on mass gatherings is that funerals or memorials may be conducted in Places of Worships such as churches and cemeteries and crematoria (as defined by the Victorian Heritage Act 2017).

From there it subscribes to the information and advice prepared by the Federal Government.

This information indicates other funeral venues are acceptable locations to conduct a funeral providing they can comply with one person per 4 square metres requirement.

So if you have an indoor venue that is 200 square metres then you can have 50 people present.

Then maximum number of attendees at an indoor mass gathering is 100.

The same rule (one person per 4 square metres) applies for outdoor gatherings at a maximum of 500 people.

You are required to provide ample hand washing facilities and hand sanitizer for all attendees.

In the same vein of cafes and restaurants being closed – with the exception of takeaway food – venues should not be serving food or beverages.

Remember to seek your own legal advice or call the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398 before continuing to offer funeral service gatherings.

And just because the information and advice says that it’s allowable it doesn’t mean it’s sensible.

Each of you are urged to consider the impact on mourners, families and your business if an outbreak of cases can be traced to a event you have hosted.

Keep talking, keep researching, keep up the physical distancing advice and be well in all the ways possible.

The AIFP Board of Directors

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