Deaths, bereavement and funerals

This page was last updated 3 July 2020

Identifying a death outside of a healthcare setting

If you are a member of the public or a family member and you come into contact with a deceased person who had coronavirus symptoms, try not to come into direct contact with them. Move to at least 2 metres away or into another room. Please call your GP (if your GP is not available you will be connected to out of hours) or 111 for further advice.

If the death was unexpected and you have not already been in contact with the healthcare system regarding the patient’s condition prior to the death, please call 999 and explain the situation.

Bereavement support

We understand that losing a loved one can feel overwhelming, especially if the death was untimely and unexpected.

The government has published a bereavement support leaflet to help those who have lost a loved one. The leaflet shares information to help bereaved families, friends or next of kin make important decisions during this national emergency, sets out what to expect next, and signposts the extra help and support that is available.  

There are a number of organisations that can support you and your family during this distressing time, including:

Funeral guidance

Public Health England has issued guidance for those managing or organising funerals during the pandemic, which aims to ensure that bereaved people are treated with sensitivity, dignity and respect, while protecting individuals, communities and those in the funeral industry from the risk of infection.

See the government funeral guidance for full details.

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