Persons who have succumbed to COVID-19 in the British Virgin Islands will not be afforded a public viewing.
This is according to the recently released COVID
-19 Burial Protocols from the Ministry of Health and Social Development.
A press release issued on Tuesday, July 27, said the protocols were “designed to allow families to safely grieve while honouring their loved ones and at the same time keeping all residents of the Territory safe.”
It continued: “the guidelines for burials in the context of COVID
-19 issued by the ministry and the Health Emergency Operations Centre, only immediate family members (mother, father, siblings, children, spouse) are allowed to view the deceased. There will be no public viewing at any church, sanctuary or funeral chapel. Viewings for immediate family will only take place at the funeral home, and family members will not be allowed to make physical contact with the deceased.”
The release informed that following the viewing, the corpse will be transported directly to the gravesite for immediate burial.
“Any service in memory of the deceased can be held after while bearing in mind the Public Health (COVID
-19 Control and Suppression Measures) Order 2021, which limits all gatherings to one person per sixty-four square feet and shall not exceed 25 persons at any given time.”
In the meantime, the ministry urged funeral organizers to ensure that all safety measures are carried out throughout the process.
This includes wearing personal protective equipment, and funeral attendees wear their masks.
“They[funeral organizers] are also encouraged to record the names and contact details of all in attendance so that this information can be used for contact tracing if necessary,” the release added.
The BVI has recorded 25 COVID
-19 related deaths.