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How does the rule of six affect funerals?

The new ‘rule of six’ laws (enacted on 14 September) do not apply to funeral services (burials or cremations, or religious ceremonies directly associated with burials and cremations) unless specified in areas of local lockdown.

However, they do apply to funeral wakes or receptions held in private homes or gardens in England – unless attendees are all from the same household or support bubble. In Wales, the rule of six law applies to funeral wakes or receptions held inside private homes, but not outside. In Scotland, the number for wakes and receptions is a maximum of 20, while in Northern Ireland, the number of people that may gather in a private home for a funeral wake or reception is ten, from no more than four households.

Funeral services can still take place in England, in places where there is a local lock down – with a maximum of 30 people and subject to COVID-19 secure guidelines – unless otherwise specified. However, at present we are aware of more restricted numbers in several locations. You are advised to check the Government’s local local lockdown regulations.



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