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England: Public Health England updates guidance on managing a funeral/care of the deceased

The Public Health England Managing a Funeral during COVID-19 guidance has today (9 July 2020) been updated in line with the Health Protection Regulations 2020.

Changes include:

  • allowing both family and friends to attend a funeral (e.g. removal of limitation to close family/household only);
  • increasing the number of people who can attend a funeral, up to 30 in places of worship and private dwellings – even if venue capacity is higher. Business and venues following COVID-19 secure guidelines can host larger groups;
  • allowing mourners to stay overnight outside their home. Mourners returning from overseas who quarantining may still attend the funeral; and
  • the safe management of the funeral venue including keeping a note of attendance for Track and Trace purposes.

This guidance applies in England only.

Read the Managing a Funeral guidance here.

Late on Wednesday 8 July, Public Health England released an updated version of their COVID-19 Care of the Deceased guidance. The majority of the guidance is fundamentally unchanged, but there is additional detail on the symptoms of COVID and use of body bags.

As with all such guidance, Public Health England cautions that, in the event of any conflict between any applicable legislation and the guidance, the applicable legislation should be followed.

Read the Care of the Deceased guidance here.

The Government’s public advice page on arranging/attending a funeral in England is still to be updated.

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