Given the continued importance of social distancing and the significant risk of a second peak of infections, there are no planned changes to funeral services, in any part of the UK, at the present time.
This includes in England, for which the Government has today outlined the move to Phase 2 of the response to COVID-19.
The NAFD fully appreciates that the current restrictions are extremely tough for bereaved families. However, they are there to protect as many lives as possible and so it is important they continue to be adhered to.
Funeral services should continue to only be attended by:
- members of the person’s household
- close family members (including those who are in high-risk categories or are self-isolating)
- if neither household or family members are in attendance, then it is possible for a modest number of friends to attend
No specific number has been set by the Government (with the exception of Northern Ireland) but venue managers may set maximum numbers based upon the ability of each mourners to observe social distancing guidelines.
Individual funeral service venues are working hard to enable as many mourners as possible to attend while still maintaining social distancing rules and you should speak to your funeral director about the specific numbers for your chosen crematorium or cemetery. We remain hopeful that churches in the UK may soon reopen for small funeral services such as are already permitted at crematoria or cemeteries.
Many cemeteries are also now open to enable families to pay respects. Despite the increased flexibility in relation to outdoor exercise, the public is strongly urged to avoid using cemeteries for exercise to enable those who are grieving to have the space and privacy they need to visit graves.
Many of the most frequently asked questions by members of the public have been answered on our COVID 19 website, which is accessible by clicking here.