Death Certification and Cremation Forms after the Coronavirus Act expires – England and Wales

The Coronavirus Act 2020, which introduced easements to death certification processes and cremation forms, expires at midnight on 24 March 2022. Some changes have been retained on a permanent basis through other measures, and other processes revert to previous practice.

The following provisions are continuing after 24 March 2022:

  • The period before death within which a doctor completing a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD) must have seen a deceased patient will remain 28 days (prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the limit was 14 days).
  • It will still be acceptable for medical practitioners to send MCCDs to registrars electronically.
  • The government’s intention is that the form Cremation 5 will not be re-introduced after the Coronavirus Act expires.

The following emergency provisions are changing with the expiry of the Act:

  • The provision temporarily allowing any medical practitioner to complete the MCCD, introduced as a temporary measure by the Coronavirus Act, will be discontinued.
  • Informants will have to register deaths in person, not remotely.