Municipal coordination for funeral services during the health crisisA new coordination protocol for all funeral services in the city has been in place since Saturday, 28 March, to streamline all stages of the process. The protocol will remain in place for the duration of the crisis and offers specific support for families in mourning, within the limitation of the current situations, as well as guaranteeing universal basic services for everybody. A standard cost for basic services has also been established.
As from 13 March, and in line with the declaration of the state of emergency, the Government of Catalonia has suspended activities relating to wakes at public and private funeral homes. A further measure now restricts people from attending the final stage of the funeral (until now two people were allowed to attend for each deceased person).
Taking into account the emotional stress of not being able to accompany the deceased and bid a final farewell, spaces will be set up once the health crisis is over so relatives can hold a ceremony at a later date, free of charge, to pay their final respects. At the same time, an emotional support helpline (649 756 713) has been set up in collaboration with the Official Association of Psychologists of Catalonia, offering support seven days a week, from 9 am to 8 pm.
A standard unit cost of 2,450 euros for basic services per deceased has also been established.
Coordinated service with the capacity to grow
Am operational coordinating board has been set up, consisting of the Health Consortium, funeral operators and the municipal company Cementiris de Barcelona. The intention is to ensure sufficient capacity to handle the increase in the number of deaths at all times.
Representatives from Muslim communities in the city have also been contacted, to be able to address the needs of all people wanting definitive burials in Barcelona or who want provisional burials. Due to the current circumstances, work is being brought forward on the extension to the Islamic section of the cemetery in Collserola. At the same time, given the possible scenario of an increase in deaths from Covid-19, a total of 98 niches have been located, grouped into 94 places in graves outside the Islamic section but which meet the main requirements for the Muslim faith.
Work is also focusing on the possibility of installing a new cremation furnace at the cemetery in Montjuïc.
How much does the funeral service cost?
A basic unit cost of 2,450 euros per deceased has been established. This includes the transfer and custody of the deceased by funeral services, along with the cost of burial or incineration, depending on what option the family choose. In the case of incineration, the cost includes the urn and the delivery of the ashes to the family home. If the assured capital is not all used, the family have the right to the remainder.
How can I collect the ashes of a relative?
Staff from Cementiris de Barcelona will deliver an urn with the ashes of the deceased to a family home, where possible, after arranging this with the family in question. This service is free of charge.
If families request it, the ashes can be kept at the cemetery in Montjuïc at no extra cost until the period of confinement ends.
When can I go to place flowers on the family tomb?
Cemeteries will open to the public again once the confinement recommendations are lifted.
Are tombs available for families without one if they wish to have one?
Yes. Tombs are available in various cemeteries in Barcelona, with the largest capacity at those in Montjuïc and Collserola.
Do people who die from Covid-19 have to be cremated?
This is not obligatory. The deceased can be buried in the family tomb. The basic service must give the choice of burial or cremation, providing there is availability.
How can I be certain a family member has been buried in the family tomb or cremated?
Staff who carry out the burial or cremation will take photographs in all cases, allowing the deceased to be identified. This graphic document will be kept with the dossier for each funeral service provided, to be shown to the family if requested.
What happens if the deceased has no family and nobody requests the body?
The process will be conducted as a charitable service.
What number can I call for emotional support if I lose a loved one?
The number 649 756 713 will be operational seven days a week, from 9 am to 8 pm. Calls will be handled by the Official Association of Psychologists of Catalonia.