Watch: Covid-19 restrictions mean only a handful of mourners able to attend grandmother’s funeral

    The hard reality of saying goodbye to a loved one during the Covid-19 pandemic has come home to a Tongan family this week.

    Grandmother Senolita was buried by members of her family, who posted a video  of the burial on Facebook.

    Only four people were allowed to attend.

    Grieving family members prayed and sang hymns during the burial.

    According to Ministry of Health regulations updated on April 2, public funeral services are not permitted and families or communities must not carry out funerals.

    This is to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

    However, family who have been in the same isolation bubble as the dead person may go to the cemetery or crematorium for the burial.

    Funeral directors are encouraged to carry out burials and cremations as quickly as possible.

    Where this is not possible, the funeral can be held after the Alert Level 4 restrictions ease.

    The dead can be cremated  and the ashes buried at a later date and memorial services can also be delayed.

    There will be an opportunity for family who have been in the same isolation bubble as the deceased to go to the funeral home to view the body.

    Viewing of bodies must only take place in a funeral home managed by a funeral director registered with their local authority.

    The main points

    • The hard reality of burials carried out during the Covid-19 pandemic has come home to a Tongan family this week.
    • Grandmother Hulita Senolita Niumeitolu was buried by members of her family, who posted a video  of the burial on Facebook.

    For more information

    Funeral video

    Posted by Maki Pooi on Thursday, April 2, 2020

    COVID-19: Funerals and tangihanga

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