PEI

Funeral size limitations not unexpected, but 'difficult on the families'

A drastic reduction in the allowed size of funerals on P.E.I. this week is leading some families to have to rethink commemorations for their loved ones.

Some families might wait it out, says funeral director

The funeral industry has been aware that restrictions could return. (Shutterstock/Syda Productions)

A drastic reduction in the allowed size of funerals on P.E.I. this week is leading some families to have to rethink commemorations for their loved ones.

With pandemic restrictions implemented effective Monday in the face of clusters of COVID-19 cases in Summerside and Charlottetown, the maximum allowable number of people at a funeral dropped from 50 to 10 plus officiants.

"It certainly isn't unexpected," said John MacIsaac of Davison Funeral Home in Kensington, who's also the secretary-treasurer of the P.E.I. Funeral Directors and Embalmers Association.

"We knew that when clusters came up like this we would be downsized again. I mean, it's very difficult on the families, for sure, especially anybody that had something planned."

The initial announcement is that the red phase could lift Thursday, and MacIsaac said some families might postpone and see if restrictions lift. There is no problem with delaying a week or two, he said.

Online funerals remain an option and have become increasingly popular, he said.

Pre-pandemic funerals would generally attract no more than 100 to 200 viewers, he said, but since the pandemic began some funerals have attracted as many as 1,000.

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Angela Walker

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