The Cemeteries & Crematoria Association of NSW asked Minister Brad Hazzard about responsibilities for safety plans and QR codes at funerals held at cemeteries. The CCANSW has received the following reply from the COVID-19 Public Health Response Branch:
We appreciate your concerns about the practical application of safety plan and check-in requirements at funerals held at cemeteries.
The Public Health (COVID-19 Safety) Order 2021 which came into effect on 29 August 2021 and replaced the Public Health (COVID-19 Gathering Restrictions) Order (No 2) 2021, has clarified the responsibilities for safety plans and check-in at funerals, memorial services and associated gatherings.
Under the COVID-19 Safety Order, the person responsible for compliance with safety plan and check-in requirements for a funeral is;
- the occupier of the premises for a funeral held in a premises listed as requiring safety plans and check-in, which includes crematoria;
- the person organising the event or conducting the service for a funeral held in an outdoor public place, which includes cemeteries.
Please note, while a single safety plan for a significant event may be used for funerals at a range of locations, to support efficient contact tracing a different QR code should be used for each location and the same QR code should not be used for funerals at different locations.
It is acknowledged these requirements may be difficult to apply in circumstances where funerals are held at premises with both indoor and outdoor places, and at small cemeteries in regional and rural areas which are unattended and at which funerals rarely occur.
NSW Health supports consultation and cooperation between cemetery operators, funeral directors and funeral celebrants to develop agreed arrangements for compliance with safety plan and QR code requirements, as we understand frequently occurs in practice. This may include the funeral director or celebrant preparing the safety plan for a funeral and/or attendees using the QR code of the cemetery if available or a QR code obtained by the funeral director or celebrant.
Thank you for your proposal that the Public Health Orders are amended to require that each cemetery to obtain a QR code and that funeral directors who choose to use that QR must comply with the cemetery operator’s safety plan. NSW Health will consider the feasibility of your suggestion and will consult your Association and other industry groups on any proposed changes to the Orders in this regard.
COVID-19 Public Health Response Branch
1 Reserve Road, St Leonards, New South Wales 2065