Medical care, flights, funerals: How will Queen Elizabeth II's funeral impact the UK?

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By The Cube
Queen Elizabeth's funeral has generated confusion around flight and hospital cancellations
Queen Elizabeth's funeral has generated confusion around flight and hospital cancellations   -   Copyright  Kin Cheung/AP

As a number of shops, venues and some Premier League football fixtures are postponed due to the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, there has been confusion online concerning other cancellations and postponements. 

The UK government has declared 19 September a public holiday for the Queen's funeral.

But how exactly will it impact certain services in the UK on Monday? 

Hospital appointments

A parody Twitter account claimed that "hospitals are cancelling appointments for cancer patients on the day of the funeral as a mark of respect”. This has raised some concerns about mounting hospital waiting times.

Local hospitals and NHS trusts are expected to make their own decisions of postponing appointments based on local staffing and transportation.

Some hospitals have said that they are operating as usual, while others have said that they will postpone some routine or non-urgent appointments. These include replacement surgeries, maternity checks and some cancer treatments. 

Air travel

Heathrow airport in London has announced that 15% of its schedule will be delayed or diverted to ensure that the skies over London fall quiet during the funeral and moments of silence.

Among the flight cancellations are 100 British Airways flights and four Virgin Atlantic flights.

In a statement, Heathrow apologised for the inconvenience but said that "as a mark of respect, operations to and from the airport will be subject to appropriate changes in order to avoid noise disruption at certain locations at specific times on Monday."

According to the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), passengers whose flights are affected on Monday will not legally be entitled to financial compensation due to the exceptional circumstances. 

However, airlines involved are offering customers refunds or re-bookings. 

Funeral services

Multiple Twitter users have claimed that all private funerals are postponed on Monday to avoid clashing with Elizabeth II’s state funeral.

The National Association of Funeral Directors said that some planned funerals would go ahead on Monday, while others have been postponed. It said the decision to change dates had been led by the bereaved families involved.

According to Reuters, some funeral homes may close on Monday if certain employees wish to observe the State Funeral "or who may have caring responsibilities as a result of closures elsewhere."

Therefore, there is no blanket order to postpone all funeral services in the UK.