Fri | Aug 7, 2020

Funeral directors brace for more losses amid COVID restrictions

Published:Monday | June 1, 2020 | 12:00 AM
Many people who wanted to bury their loved ones had also been stranded overseas as the government closed the borders as part of the coronavirus containment measures.

Funeral directors are bracing for even more losses as the government maintains restrictions on the industry.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness on Sunday night said up to 15 people would be allowed at funerals as health experts remained concerned about large gatherings.

But with restrictions for regular church services dependent on the sizes of the buildings, the Independent Funeral Directors’ Association wants the same guidelines for burials.

"We have families right now that tell us, if it takes another eight months, they still don’t want to bury their loved ones," said Michael Archer, the president of the eastern chapter of the funeral association.

 Archer said families may be charged for storage, but not a tremendous amount.

At the same time, he said his electricity bills have surged.

"I am spending more now on light bill than ever before, because you have more bodies that are taking a longer time to go to church," Archer said.

To compound the issue, his said, with higher temperatures now, fridges have to be on "full blast".

Many people who wanted to bury their loved ones had also been stranded overseas as the government closed the borders as part of the coronavirus containment measures.

But Prime Minister Andrew Holness on Sunday night announced that Jamaicans will be allowed to return up to June 14 and must be tested on arrival.

After that, international visitors may return.

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