Mum can’t touch coffin of daughter due to coronavirus funeral rules

Coronavirus will prevent the family of a terminally-ill teenager from saying one last goodbye as new funeral rules mean they won't be able to touch her coffin before her body is cremated.

Much-loved Holly Smallman will be laid to rest on Friday but newly-introduced COVID-19 rules mean a maximum of 10 people are allowed at her funeral.

The 18-year-old was seriously ill for much of her life and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy epilepsy and chronic lung disease.

Her family at home in Liverpool provided 24-hour care for her, and the new rules, issued on Wednesday, have devastated her loved ones' last goodbye.

No funeral cars will be used in transporting her body, and chairs at the crematorium will be kept at a distance.

Sadly, there are even guidelines about hugging that the family will have to follow, reports the Liverpool Echo.

Devastated mum Hayley asked if the curtains at the crematorium could be left open so the family could touch her daughter’s coffin, but that is not allowed due to the risk of infection.

Hundreds were due to attend the service at Isla Gladstone Conservatory in Stanely Park, but that is now not allowed.

In an interview with Liverpool Echo, mum-of-three Hayley said her daughter’s funeral choices were “the hardest thing in the world” and “heartbreaking.”

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She said: “I've been living hour by hour, waiting for a new announcement.

"I hoped with all my heart it wouldn't come to this, but I knew it was on the cards.

"How do you choose to invite the 10 people who Holly loved the most?

"On the worst day of our lives, what we needed most was our family and friends, yet many of them will not be there.

"We will have to go out and say goodbye to Holly alone – this is not how I envisaged it would happen.

"I'm not even allowed to touch my child's coffin for the last time – she was my little girl.

"Friday now feels sterile, like I'm dropping her off for her funeral and then going home."

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Husband Gary, 46, Hayley, their children Ruby 12, and Josh, 21, will attend, along with her grandparents and aunt Rachel.

She said: “The world is coping as best as it can, and this is a massive crisis.

"I know we've got to get through, but this was our last chance to say goodbye to our little girl, and it's been taken away from us.

"We wanted Holly's funeral to be light and happy, to show everyone what a wonderful person she was.

"Our family and friends have got us through the past 12 days, but now many won't be there on Friday – it's quite scary.

"There were people across the country who wanted to come, but this is now the stark reality this nation finds itself in."

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