Grieving families are now allowed to say goodbye to their loved ones at the funeral home so that Alert Level 4 can be changed.
However, the directors of the last rites warned that there could not be enough staff to be fully vaccinated so that everyone could be allowed to say goodbye in person.
Starting today, families can visit funeral homes registered during Alert Level 4, provided they are in the same bubble, wear masks, maintain social distance and do not touch Topako (dead person).
The Funeral Directors Association welcomed the change of government.
President Gary Taylor said the association wrote a letter last week to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Director-General of Health Dr. Ashley Bloomfield to ease restrictions on visits.
This warning will be a great relief to Level 4 families who will now at least be able to see their loved one in peace once our members have taken care of them and we thank the government for listening to our proposal and Accept
David Mojar, the association’s chief executive, said the Ministry of Health’s conditions for viewing were in line with industry recommendations, with the exception of one: the director of the funeral requiring full oversight.
“This is troubling because when we asked earlier this year for access to the vaccination program for funeral directors as a necessary service, we were denied.”
The ministry cited limited community transmission and the fact that funeral directors were not considered essential health services.
“This means that the number of funeral directors available who are now fully vaccinated is limited,” Mojar said.
“We are trying to assess the effect of this delay on today’s announcement.”
He added that the association believes that funeral directors should be considered as an essential health service and renewed the call to the government this morning.
It is important for families who want to see their dead loved one below Level 4:
- be from the same bubble as t bpāpaku
- Funerals Wear masks indoors and maintain physical distance.
- Don’t touch tūpāpaku
- There are no symptoms of covid 19.
- Don’t wait for the Quaid 19 test.
- There is no need to be alone or under Section 70 Order.
Tapako cannot be moved from the funeral home for sightseeing purposes.