Aberdeenshire Council remains committed to effective and sensitive burials service during Covid-19 emergency

Aberdeenshire Council has announced it remains committed to maintaining an effective and sensitive burials service which meets the needs of families at a very difficult time as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a report which will go before the Infrastructure Services Committee on Thursday, May 14, councillors will be advised that modelling of the Covid-19 mortality rates suggest that the Burial Service may have to deal with significantly increased levels of demand, potentially over a 23-week period.

During this pandemic it is essential that the overall death management process continues to operate compassionately and efficiently.

In response to the ever-evolving situation, the local authority continues to plan for a variety of scenarios for the months ahead including some which could mean significant changes to levels of service.

If the levels of demand for burials increases dramatically then restrictions on the timing and location of burials may have to be introduced. In extreme circumstances, access for mourners may have to be suspended.

Director of Infrastructure Services, Stephen Archer, explains: “During these extraordinary times, to protect this vital service, it may well be necessary to amend the level of service currently provided, particularly at a time where the availability of experienced, trained personnel from within the Burial Service may be unavailable due to the pandemic.

“These operational changes will be brought in as circumstances dictate and will be carried out in an empathetic manner, reflecting the sensitive nature of the work performed by the Burial Service and the impacts of any potential changes on family and friends who are already dealing with the loss of a loved one.”

Under delegated powers, Mr Archer has agreed the reduction or suspension of some burial fees should there be significant changes to the levels of service.