Transporting Ashes from England to the Isle of Man during Covid 19
Many repatriations have been affected all over the world due to the Covid 19 pandemic with airline cancelations, airport closures and government restrictions to name just a few of the challenges faced. These issues had been adapted to by Homeland International so it was a surprise when a simple request to transport an urn from mainland England to the Isle of Man faced some challenges. Being more of a global repatriation provider, it is actually relatively rare for Homeland International to be engaged in cases within the UK, however the team are well prepared to support with cases in the UK as well as anywhere else in the world.
Located in the middle of the Irish Sea, almost equidistant between England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, the Isle of Man is a unique self-governing kingdom. Homeland International is a part of CPJ Field and Co LTD, the UK’s oldest funeral directors with over 325 years’ experience and over 40 locations across the South East of England. One of CPJ Field’s funeral homes had supported a family with a funeral service, following this service the family requested for the urn to be returned to them in the Isle of Man. This would usually be a simple request, the Isle of Man is a short ferry ride from the city of Liverpool and return can be arranged back to England on the same day, as well as this, the paperwork is very simple due to the relationship between the island and the UK.
However, like many island communities around the world, a careful strategy was swiftly implemented within the Isle of Man to protect its community from the coronavirus and to allow a sense of normality to continue within the island. The borders were closed but for essential purposes and the number of positive Covid 19 cases within the island remained very low. The paperwork was all in place and the operations team contacted the Isle of Man government for information on their border requirements and whether the transportation of an urn was deemed an essential trip. The request was declined as such and an alternative option had to be planned.
The ferry companies were liaised with to check what options were available, thankfully they were happy for the urn to travel unaccompanied if packing requirements were adhered to. This was good as it meant the transport could go ahead rather than requiring to wait until the border was reopened. The team at Homeland International with their wide array of both knowledge and experience were able to package everything safely for the ferry. The next issue was upon arrival, Homeland International had promised to the family that the urn and documents would be safely transported right to their door, and as always, the team were committed to fulfilling their promise despite the challenges presented by Covid 19. Homeland International were able to reach out to a provider on the Isle of Man who could meet the ferry on arrival and complete the final part of the journey. Homeland International has developed a substantial network of providers all over the world, even in remote and hostile environments.
The plan was put into place and the ferry was booked, Homeland International coordinated the safe transport from the South East of England to Liverpool. Once at Liverpool, the ferry company allowed Homeland International to load the safely prepared package onto the ferry to ensure the urn was safely placed onto the ferry. The ferry departed Liverpool and the operations team contacted the provider in the Isle of Man to confirm everything was safely en route to the Isle of Man. Upon arrival, the provider collected the urn and safely coordinated the transport to the family at their home address that same day.