Funeral home turns to live-streaming amid coronavirus regulations
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Funeral home turns to live-streaming amid coronavirus regulations

A Flemish funeral home is turning to 360-degree live streaming to continue offering services while still respecting social-distancing guidelines. Credit: Stock image/Unsplash

A funeral home in Flanders has turned to live streaming as a way to continue offering services while still respecting public health regulations to curb the coronavirus pandemic.

Stefaan Romeyns, the director of a funeral parlour in the municipality of Brakel, in West Flanders, said that he had already offered two services via live-streaming in the past weeks.

While Romeyns said that his business had already employed live-streamings in cases of families who were abroad or relatives that were bedridden, he said that current circumstances were likely to see it used even more.

“The system works with 360-degree cameras that record everything and the images are then sent live to the next of kin via the internet,” Romeyns told VRT.

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Under the current nation-wide lockdown, funeral homes are required to keep services to a maximum of 20 people, including staff.

“Only family members may be present, all other people must stay at home,” Romeyns said, adding that he was also increasingly doing business by phone.

Another alternative offered to families is to hold services with a limited number of people and postpone the larger event for a later date, which nevertheless remains unclear, with health officials saying that the lockdown was likely to be extended.

“There will come a time when it will be extra busy in our sector, we will have the regular funerals but also the commemorations of all people were already buried during the corona crisis,” Romeyns said.

According to the latest figures on Monday, 88 people have died from the coronavirus since the pandemic reached Belgium at the start of March, and a total of 1,643 are currently hospitalised.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times