Re­stric­tions impact those in mourn­ing

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - SAM TURNER sam.turner@cnbtimes.com.au

CORO­N­AVIRUS re­stric­tions are com­pli­cat­ing one of the most per­sonal events in the life of a fam­ily.

Reg­u­la­tions were im­ple­mented stip­u­lat­ing a max­i­mum of 10 peo­ple were al­lowed to at­tend fu­ner­als, a move made to min­imise the risk of spread­ing COVID-19.

Bur­nett Re­gional Fu­neral Ser­vices direc­tor Fred Hamp­son has al­ready seen the harsh impact this has had on friends and fam­i­lies of the re­cently de­ceased.

“Ev­ery­one has been very un­der­stand­ing at this time, but it doesn’t make it any eas­ier for them,” Mr Hamp­son said.

“It’s an ex­cep­tion­ally emo­tional time for them as it is, and this stress just adds to it.”

Mr Hamp­son said due to the re­duced num­bers, it was hard to tell some­one they could only have seven or eight peo­ple at the ser­vice as there were of­ten two to three staff as­sist­ing which counted in the 10-per­son limit.

“Ev­ery­one un­der­stands what the gov­ern­ment is try­ing to do, and we all watch the news,” Mr Hamp­son said.

“Our lives are no longer chang­ing day by day, but hour by hour.”

Mr Hamp­son, his wife Shirley and their team also have to ad­here to stricter pre­cau­tions in other ar­eas of the busi­ness due to the coro­n­avirus out­break.

“We’re very mind­ful of work­place health and safety, and the in­fec­tion con­trol guide­lines,” Mr Hamp­son said.

“Tra­di­tion­ally we wear per­sonal pro­tec­tive equip­ment such as gloves, masks, gowns and we’re mind­ful of the pre­cau­tions.

“We re­ceive daily emails from health au­thor­i­ties keep­ing us up to speed too, with con­stant up­dates on new reg­u­la­tions.”

The fu­neral ser­vice is now con­sid­er­ing dif­fer­ent av­enues to hon­our those who have passed away, which in­cludes live stream­ing the ser­vices.

“The con­do­lences we post on­line on so­cial me­dia are ap­pre­ci­ated by their fam­i­lies, as it al­lows those in the com­mu­nity to grieve with them,” Mr Hamp­son said.

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