Families given sense of closure as funeral restrictions ease
THROUGHOUT the coronavirus pandemic funerals were restricted to 10 people, but an announcement that 100 people can attend has been welcomed.
Harbour City Funerals consultant Bryan Perry said it was a massive relief to be able to give families a sense of closure again.
"It gives people the opportunity to be with more of their family and friends to come together to grieve the loss of their loved ones and say their farewells," Mr Perry said.
"I feel that prior to these restrictions being lifted, there were so many families that didn't have the opportunity to grieve properly, to say farewell and to spend an appropriate amount of time with their family and friends."
During the restrictions, Mr Perry livestreamed services so people could still attend funerals without physically being there.
"It just doesn't give people that personal touch - it's one thing to look through a screen as opposed to being there and actually saying your farewells," he said.
Despite the increase in numbers, attendees will still have to stay 1.5m apart, with 4sq m of space per person at the funeral.
"We still need to practice social distancing," Mr Perry said.
"You can have 100 mourners there but you also have to be mindful of the space you're in - if the building only has the ability to cater for 40 people, you can only have 40 people attend."
The details of each attendee will also be recorded to assist in contact tracing if the need arises.
Mr Perry said the additional requirement meant they'd encourage attendees to arrive early so all details could be recorded before the service.
"At the end of the day, the most important thing is people can gather with their family and friends and actually have some peace of mind and say farewell," he said.