The NAFD is aware of concern among funeral directors over where liability for enforcement of COVID restrictions lies at a funeral and, specifically, the correct procedures to follow should a greater number of mourners than the COVID-secure limit of the venue seek to attend a funeral.
Official Public Health England guidance (COVID-19: guidance for managing a funeral during the coronavirus pandemic, PHE England – October 2020) is clear that funeral service staff should:
- communicate the need to comply with limits on gatherings
- signpost attendees to the advice on local restrictions
- facilitate remote attendance, particularly for mourners who are required to self-isolate
- remind mourners that they are legally required to wear a face covering
However, it is not their role to enforce the restrictions.
We have drafted the guidance below to support you in carrying out your role and guide conversations, should you be asked questions about the limits of your responsibilities or actions.
This guidance has been reviewed by the Cabinet Office. No changes were recommended and they believe it will be a helpful document. Although this is based on PHE guidance, this guidance is suitable for all UK nations as the same basic principles around enforcement apply.