Council makes emergency preparations to respect lives lost to coronavirus

Preparations are underway to protect the dignity of Bristol residents who could lose their lives to coronavirus in the coming weeks by establishing a temporary mortuary.

In the event the city needs to cope with a greater number of deaths than usual – Bristol City Council is building the mortuary at its Sandy Park depot, in line with emergency response plans.

Work on the temporary site – in a car park off Sandy Park Road in Brislington – will begin today (Tuesday 7 April).

Construction is due to be completed by the end of this week – and once finished will be fully secure and private.

Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, said: “We’re faced with a heart-breaking but necessary task, to ensure our city is fully prepared in the next few weeks.

“Unfortunately, the sad reality is that we are likely to see a significant number of people lose their lives to coronavirus and we must be ready to ensure we deal with that in the most dignified and sensitive way possible so we can respect the deceased and their families. 

“We are following national guidance, and building a temporary mortuary which will be similar to a number of others planned around the country, as we all come to terms with the tragic implications of this crisis. 

“Thank you to everyone in Bristol – for your sensitivity and understanding while we make these difficult decisions and as we pull together to support the city’s response to the pandemic.”

The council says restrictions will be in place to protect staff based at Sandy Park who will be offered continued emotional support.

Apart from temporary construction work scheduled to last three days, this will not affect residents living nearby, and the mortuary will be discreetly concealed.