‘Disrespectful’: Cops interrupt dad’s funeral
A woman was left "inconsolable" after two Victorian police officers reportedly interrupted her father's funeral over the Easter long weekend to ensure mourners were complying with social-distancing rules.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the tough new restrictions last month, with funerals limited to just 10 people in a bid to slow the spread of the virus.
Helen Kolovos farewelled her father on Saturday and, though difficult, the family made sure only 10 people attended the funeral.
Her family also abided by social distancing rules by sitting in separate pews during the service.
"Being from a Greek family, it was already mission impossible to do that, but we did," she told The Guardian.
"We literally had to pick and choose our own family and say, 'You can come, you can't come.'"
Ms Kolovos told the publication two uniformed police officers entered the church as her father's coffin was being carried out.
She said seeing them come in at that moment "broke my heart into a million pieces".
"It was just totally disrespectful, to carry a gun in a Greek church, it's totally against our religion," Ms Kolovos said.
"But the way they came in, they didn't bow their heads or anything. They just started speaking to some of the people who were working in the church and taking notes as we're carrying out my dad."
She said officers should show respect in this situation, adding that she feels as if the moment of farewelling her dad was taken away from her.
When introducing the new rules, Mr Morrison said it was "not an easy decision".
"Sadly, also, and I know this will be very difficult, funerals to no more than 10 persons observing the rules around the four-square-metre rule and the social distancing practices," he said.
The strict social distancing rules announced by the PM also placed restrictions on weddings, with just five people being able to attend.
"Where we have already found some of the events that have been some of the major transmitting events, it has been exactly these types of events, particularly weddings. And that is why, regretfully, we have to be able to put these arrangements in place," Mr Morrison said.
Police were out in force over the long weekend to crack down on people flouting social distancing rules.
On Saturday, Victoria Police conducted 550 spot checks at homes, businesses and non-essential services across the state.
They issued 92 fines and found multiple people violating gathering and social distancing rules.
Originally published as 'Disrespectful': Cops interrupt dad's funeral