Coronavirus (COVID-19 ) (update 9 December 2021)
The government announced that England will move to Plan B in response to the risks of the Omicron Variant. From Friday 10 December, the public and the staff who are working in crematoria and chapels are required to wear a face covering by law.
Please note that Newcastle City Council Bereavement Services are committed to protecting the health and safety of mourners, funeral directors and members of staff and to making all funerals as Covid-secure as possible.
To do this, we ask that those who are using the West Road Crematorium behave in a safe and responsible manner and comply with the following guidelines:
Funeral times are staggered to help manage the number of people arriving and leaving the crematorium at once and to allow for enhanced cleaning measures. Additional cleaning of crematorium chapels between each service will be maintained.
Live streaming of services is an option for those arranging a funeral – please speak with your funeral director to request this.
The capacity in the chapels at the West Road Crematorium is:
West Chapel - 110 seats / no capacity for standing
East Chapel - 108 seats / limited standing is permitted at the back of the chapel only.
In order to maintain the health and safety of attendees and the staff working at the funeral, please be advised that the staff at the crematorium chapels will ask ask for the co-operation of the funeral director and attendees to exit the chapel where the number of attendees exceeds the maximum capacity. At the request of the funeral director, the speakers can be switched on outside of the chapels. We appreciate your co-operation with this matter.
Singing is now permitted in the chapels.
The waiting room is open.
The toilets will be available to use when the cemetery is open. The facilities are located by the accessible ramp to the right of the waiting room entrance.
Before the Funeral
- You should not attend if you, or anyone in your household, feels unwell. If you or anyone in your household have shown symptoms of Covid-19 within the last 10 days, you should not attend unless you have had a negative PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test result. Covid-19 symptoms include: a new, continuous cough; a high temperature; a loss or change to your sense of taste or smell.
- You should not attend if you have been instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, even if you have no symptoms or have had a negative Covid-19 test.
- All attendees aged 12 and over are strongly encouraged to carry out lateral flow testing twice a week, i.e. before and after the event. Do not attend if you test positive. You can collect free testing kits from local pharmacies and community sites, or order online or by phone for home delivery: www.nhs.uk/gettested.
- Lateral flow tests should only be used by people without symptoms. If you develop symptoms, you must arrange a PCR test straight away and self-isolate until you get the results – even if your lateral flow test result is negative.
- If you are legally required to self-isolate you may only break self-isolation to attend a funeral if it is a close family member (for example, a partner, parent, sibling, child, or grandparent). If this applies to your circumstances, you must inform the funeral director in advance, to ensure further arrangements can be made to keep everyone safe. We would strongly encourage you to access the live streaming option, where possible.
During the Funeral
- QR (quick response) codes will be displayed at chapel entrance points. We would advise you to check in using the NHS COVID-19 app, to support NHS Test and Trace, although it is no longer a legal requirement to do so.
- Crematorium staff will wear a face covering, unless medically exempt.
- Sanitise your hands using the dispensers provided and avoid touching your face, as well as handles, railings etc., wherever possible. Observe any safety measures in place. Always cover your face if you need to cough or sneeze and wash or sanitise your hands immediately after.
- If you develop Covid-19 symptoms while at the funeral, notify the nearest member of staff immediately and put your face covering on. • Whilst numbers of attendees are not restricted, once the capacity is reached within the chapels, funeral directors and/or crematorium staff will direct mourners outside the chapel.
- Always follow instructions from funeral directors and crematorium staff.
- We appreciate your cooperation to ensure that you vacate the chapel directly after the service to the flower garden to allow the crematorium staff to complete their duties.
Hall of Remembrance
The Hall of Remembrance is open to visitors. Please wear a face covering and follow the social distancing and safety measures in place.
The Book of Remembrance is also available to view online if you are unable to attend or would prefer to view your entry remotely. Please click on the link to access the online Book of Remembrance.
Visitors are welcome to make an appointment to visit the crematorium to view individual entries where they have been unable to visit during lockdown. Please note that the books are sent away to be inscribed so we may not be able to accommodate your request until the books arrive back at the crematorium.
The West Road Crematorium and the cemeteries run by the council across the city are open during the following times:
April to October
- Monday to Friday, from 9am to 6.45pm
- Saturday, Sunday and bank holidays, from 10am to 4.45pm
November to March
- Monday to Friday, from 9am to 3.45pm
- Saturday, Sunday and bank holidays, from 10am to 3.45pm
We appreciate your cooperation to ensure that you vacate the cemeteries on or before the closing times to allow the cemeteries staff to complete their duties.