Registrar’s Directive: Drive-Thru Visitations

Effective today, June 10, 2020

The creativity of licensees is something the bereavement sector can be proud of during this pandemic period. In the last few weeks, the option of drive-thru visitations, with the approval of the police and regional medical officers of health, have been carried out by several funeral homes across Ontario, as those communities find ways to address the needs of grieving families while following all COVID-19 restrictions.

This Registrar’s Directive supports this creativity with a set of safety-focused and respectful rules that must be followed if you choose to offer drive-thru visitations at your funeral home.

All other COVID-19 government restrictions, Registrar’s Directives, Notices to the Profession and Guidance must continue to be followed.

Directive Measures – Effective June 10, 2020

For a drive-thru service, mourners may drive to a funeral home’s outside designated area to pay their respects to the deceased and the family.

If needed, funeral homes may add a secure tent or canopy on funeral home property to accommodate a drive-thru area.

Drive-thru visitations require a safe:

  • Appropriately laid-out funeral establishment property on which to host these visitations. The property must be large enough to accommodate a line of vehicles. The line must not extend onto public streets, sidewalks or other people’s property.
  • Marked, designated lane or path on the funeral home property for automobiles to line-up and drive in toward the designated viewing area, such as a window, entranceway or tent/canopy area.  
  • Designated viewing area where the decedent’s family can gather, in a group of fewer than 10 (observing physical distancing of two metres), to acknowledge those in their vehicles.   
  • A funeral home traffic coordinator, if the line of vehicles exceeds the capacity of the funeral home’s parking property, in order to ensure people do not exit their vehicles and come in contact with other passengers and drivers, and to maintain general safety. 

Prohibited are:

  • Standing outside of vehicles. Mourners must stay inside their vehicles.
  • Mixing of vehicles and people, standing outside, in a line-up.   

-Carey Smith, CEO/Registrar