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Changes made to funeral guidance in Northern Ireland

From today (11 December) the maximum number of 25 mourners allowed at a funeral in Northern Ireland has been removed, and numbers will be determined by the size and circumstance of the venue. This includes places of worship, funeral homes, graveside committals and City of Belfast Crematorium, and is subject to a risk assessment and ensuring proper social distancing.

Face coverings are now mandatory for mourners entering, leaving and throughout at a funeral service in places of worship and funeral homes.

In other changes, the number of people allowed to view a deceased person at a private dwelling has been changed to 10, from up to four different households. This includes the clergy/officiant and any children under the age of 12. Only non-COVID-19 related deaths are allowed to be taken to a private dwelling. Where the death is COVID-related, remains are not be taken home and funeral services from private dwellings are not permitted.

The revised guidance document can be found at

https://www.health-ni.gov.uk/sites/default/files/publications/health/interim-guidancefor-funeral-directors.pdf

https://www.publichealth.hscni.net/covid-19-coronavirus/guidance-professionals-and-organisations#guidance-for-funeral-directors-on-managing-infection-risks-when-handling-the-deceased

As well as taking the changes into account, we recommend reading the document to be reminded of all other guidance, including what constitutes a COVID-19 related death, embalming and limousines, and no publication of specific funeral arrangements in the public domain.

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