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Northern Ireland: Updated Guidance on funerals following easing of some restrictions on 24 May

The key changes relate to the use of limousines, the number of people permitted to gather indoors at a private dwelling and pre or post funeral gatherings.

From 24 May:

  • While mourners are encouraged to travel in a car by themselves or only with people from their households – limousines may now be used to transport mourners.
  • Up to six people (not including children aged 12 or under) from no more than two households can travel together in the limousine and must be wearing a face covering when inside the vehicle. Windows should remain open when the vehicle is occupied.
  • Pre/post funeral gatherings are permitted. The numbers allowed to attend will be determined by the size of the particular venue and will be subject to a risk assessment by the venue operator. Additional restrictions may be applicable to licensed or unlicensed premises. Hugging and handshakes with family and friends are not recommended at funerals or pre/post funeral gatherings.
  • Gatherings indoors at a private dwelling can normally consist of not more than up to six people (not including children aged 12 or under) from two households.
  • However, one household of six or more people and one other household of a maximum of ten people from no more than two households are permitted to meet inside at any one time.
  • Gatherings outdoors at a private dwelling can consist of a maximum of fifteen people from no more than three households.
  • Neither of these changes allow for a funeral service to be conducted from within a private dwelling or its surrounding area.
  • People arriving in Northern Ireland from non-green list countries must quarantine for a period of ten days.
  • Coffin lifts are permitted, removing the requirement for pallbearers to be from the same household. Pallbearers must wear a face covering when the coffin lift is indoors.
  • Other parts of previous guidance have been removed, meaning:
    • All details of funerals can be published (for example, in newspapers and online) and including date, time and venue location.
    • People may now gather to pay their respects and/or line the route of the funeral procession.

Please also note that funeral services are not yet permitted from private dwellings and should only take place in places of worship, funeral homes, the City of Belfast Crematorium or at the burial ground.

The above is a summary and we recommend that you take time to read the updated guidance carefully by clicking here.

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