Registrar’s Directive: Cemeteries

Re. COVID-19 – Cemeteries directed to open for interments

March 24, 2020

All cemeteries in Ontario are directed to open their cemeteries and be available for interments immediately, or as soon as possible if restricted by ground conditions.

This means staff and equipment must be ready to accommodate requests for interments, including ground burials, crypts in a mausoleum, crematoriums, and cremated remains in a columbarium.

There is no need to change your cemetery bylaws. This is an emergency measure ordered by the Registrar of the Funeral Burial and Cremation Service Act, 2002. Cemeteries are an Essential Workplace – as declared by the Premier of Ontario. As usual, ensure you have the permission of the Interment Rights Holder for the deceased.

Note: This is not a recommendation. It is a directive. These are extraordinary times and require extraordinary measures.

Again, I ask our funeral establishments to share this directive with their local cemeteries, as not all cemeteries will receive this directive. Thank you. Stay vigilant.

-Carey Smith, CEO/Registrar, BAO