The shire's family-run funeral business is looking at ways to help the community say farewell to loved ones after the government's latest ban on gatherings.
No more than 10 people could attend a funeral service from Wednesday night, March 25. To slow the spread of COVID-19, rules on gatherings were rolled out from Monday.
Batemans Bay, Moruya and Narooma District Funerals has serviced the shire for more than 50 years and general manager Mark Hewson said the changes were "quite alarming".
"Quick changes are happening on a daily basis," he said
"It went from 500 people, to 100, to 50, to now 10."
He said outdoor services were also limited to 10.
"I thought this would be the case, and expected it would go further to only funeral staff attending," he said.
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Mr Hewson said family services would still go ahead with a maximum of 10 people, including crematorium and cemetery staff.
Including staff and a celebrant or minister, Mr Hewson said: "It reduces the number of family members right down to only six or seven."
"It's very distressing for families and distressing for us to not fulfill everyone's needs.
For those who cannot attend, he said a video of the service could be organised.
"We can video the funeral service and offer free copies to everyone," Mr Hewson said.
A live-streaming service was something Mr Hewson was looking into.
In the meantime, he said families could consider a memorial at a later date.
"We are trying to support families by offering a memorial at a later date once all this is over," he said.
He said everyone was understanding but noticed many were struggling to get their head around changes.
"To stop this virus from spreading we have to consider both families and funeral staff," Mr Hewson said.
"We are Australians - a supporting nation where a hug and kiss is all part of our culture; you have to be so conscious of not doing it."
He said changes to rules happened fast: "A lot of people are having trouble understanding it - just like the virus, which is moving so quickly."
"As the government is saying, if we all adhere to these regulations, the quicker everything will get back to normal," Mr Hewson said.
At chapels, there are signs explaining social distancing rules and COVID-19 notices, plus hand sanitisers in clear sight.
"Staff are on watch to control and make sure everyone's needs are being looked after and everyone is complying with regulations from the NSW Government," Mr Hewson said.
He said staff were trained to take precautions and use protective equipment.
"We have to consider our staff, they all have families, as like many other businesses we have offered if they wish to remain at home they can," he said.
Mr Hewson expected a spike in deaths due to COVID-19: "We are very well prepared to handle the increase in deaths."