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COVID-19 Update: Our locations & services remain open to support you - what you need to know about the Last Step Read More

SMCT

23 November 2020
SMCT Important Community Notice – COVID-19

Our commitment to care for the community

While the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis are continually evolving, our commitment to honouring and celebrating life will be our focus. We are working with the latest advice from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to adapt our services and procedures to protect the health and wellbeing of our employees, partners and the community we serve.

The Last Step of the Government Roadmap went into effect from 11:59PM 22 November 2020. This page has important information to help you understand what these restrictions mean when using our services.

We encourage our community to continue to adhere to all current Victorian Government directives.

We are open to support you

Our thoughts are with our community and with those who are experiencing the pain of loss during such a difficult time, when physical connection to others and presence in honouring loved ones is difficult and restricted.

We are committed to providing light for all Victorians throughout this dark time, reshaping our services to help families honour and celebrate the life of loved ones.

Our cemetery locations remain open to our community. This includes those attending a funeral, organising a funeral (where a phone appointment is not possible) or visiting the resting place of a loved one .

Members of our community are also welcome to come on-site to enjoy our outdoor spaces or to visit our florist or café.

In addition to observing social distancing measures, we have also increased sanitation on our sites, keeping our locations as safe as possible for our community.

What are the restrictions for funeral gatherings?

Funeral gatherings may be attended by up to 150 people, subject to venue capacity at a density of 1 person per 4 square meters. This does not include the Funeral Director and support personnel, and is subject to social distancing directives.

To give our community as many options and support as possible during this time, we now have outdoor marquees available at Springvale Botanical Cemetery and Bunurong Memorial Park. This will enable families to host outdoor functions with added comfort and shelter from the elements. To learn more about how we can accommodate gatherings of different sizes, please read our maximum occupancy information.

We are continuing to keep Funeral Directors that work with us updated. They can guide you on options and arrangements, and discuss filming options for those who are unable to attend on the day.

If you have any questions, please contact us.

Will I have to wear a face covering or mask?

Yes, when indoors. Face masks are not required outdoors, except in situations where maintaining physical distancing is not possible. You must carry a mask with you at all times. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has advised that this includes anyone attending a funeral service, including family members and funeral attendants, as well as those visiting our cemetery grounds.

Specific directives on face covering use including exceptions can be found on the DHHS website.

Are outdoor social gatherings permitted?

Yes, up to 50 people from any number of households may gather for outdoor social interaction on our grounds. Children under 12 months of age are not included in the limit.

All visitors must observe social distancing and mask guidelines.

Can I visit a grave or memorial site?

You may visit any of our sites for any reason, including for the purpose of visiting the resting place of loved ones. Gathering limits are capped at 50 people, not including infants under 12 months.

Can I visit SMCT for an appointment?

If you need to arrange a funeral, our customer service team can guide you through options at this time. Appointments are conducted by phone and email where possible, and in some cases at our on-site Customer Service Centre.

All visitors need to observe social distancing by maintaining a minimum of 1.5 metre person-to-person spacing.

As an added precaution, we have introduced temperature checks for anyone coming to appointments in our Customer Service areas.

If you wish to arrange a Final Farewell Ceremony or plaque installation, please call us to discuss appointment options.

During this time, please refrain from coming on-site to conduct genealogical research. Use our online Deceased Search tool, submit a records enquiry online or call us on (03) 8558 8278 for assistance.

We encourage our community to observe alternative ways to remember their loved ones at any time when it may not be possible to visit our sites. This can include reflecting on the life of your loved one through writing, lighting a candle, or holding a virtual remembrance service with family and friends.

Can I have a monument or a plaque installed?

Plaques and monuments may be installed, subject to new requirements.

Monumental masons will be asked to provide notification prior to arriving, follow remote sign-in procedures and comply with COVIDSafe Plan regulations - details have been shared directly with registered monumental masons. If you have any questions or would like another copy of the requirements, please contact smct.monumental@smct.org.au.

Visiting our café and florist:

Our on-site café at Springvale Botanical Cemetery and Bunurong Memorial Park are now open to the public for seated service, subject to distancing requirements and capacity limits.

Our florist is also open to the public for in-store customers, but continues to offer an immediate contactless ‘call and collect’ service from 9 am to 5 pm each day for those that prefer this option. Graveside delivery bouquets and funeral service arrangements, including casket arrangements, can also be ordered via phone or our online store and delivered across Springvale Botanical Cemetery and Bunurong Memorial Park.

Please view our café and florist pages for hours and more information.

We are here to support you:

We understand the importance of saying goodbye to loved ones and appreciate the added difficulty of restrictions imposed on families. We encourage those concerned to speak with our customer care team to discuss available options. We have a shared responsibility to comply with the Australian Governments public health measures to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

While our Centre for Care & Wellbeing has temporarily closed its doors, our team are continuing to provide the community with care and support via email and phone. We are committed to helping all Victorians throughout these unprecedented times, reshaping our services so families can honour and celebrate the life of loved ones.

Click here to discover our online wellness videos created by our Centre for Care & Wellbeing team to encourage the practice of self-care through these challenging times.

Flower Arrangements

Florist Delivery Service

While you may be unable to be there in person, our florist is providing grave-side flowers with personalised message card delivery, for those seeking an alternative way to honour and send their love.