Burnett families welcome ease in funeral restrictions
BEREAVED families are now allowed up to 100 mourners at their loved one’s funerals, following an ease in coronavirus restrictions.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the relaxed restrictions on Monday, which took effect today.
Previous restrictions only allowed up to 10, and then 20 mourners at funerals, forcing families to make difficult decisions about who could attend.
Burnett Regional Funeral Services director Shirley Hampson said it had been a difficult time for families in the North Burnett, but her team had been able to accommodate them.
“We’ve had six funerals since coronavirus began that were impacted by the restrictions,” she said.
“However we’ve developed a live streaming method for our funerals which has helped a lot.”
Prior to the pandemic, Burnett Regional Funeral Services was trialling the live-streaming process to enable family members and friends view the service from overseas.
Once the coronavirus began, the live streaming strategy became common place, allowing more than 10 people to observe proceedings online.
“One of the funerals we did was quite tragic, and it was a circumstance where you had lots of people who wanted to come,” Mrs Hampson said.
“They were allowed an exemption, but that was only for 20 people, and with that we still had to observe social distancing.
“In that case we were able to live stream it for those who wanted to pay their respects.”
Burnett Regional Funeral Services also staged processions through the region’s towns during the pandemic, so more people could pay their respects.
A procession was held for the late Nola Murray of Eidsvold, who passed away on April 11.
Eidsvold residents stood on Moreton St and farewelled the “Avon lady” while social distancing.
“The procession through the main street gave the town an opportunity to farewell Nola, because she meant so much to the town,” Mrs Hampson said.
“All the businesses closed their doors, and there were a number of people out there saying goodbye.”
Funeral organisers need to keep a record of attendees for eight weeks in case contact tracing is necessary at a later date.
The 100-attendee ruling only applies to funerals — it does not apply to wakes as they’re considered a gathering and are subject to the relevant requirements for the venue.