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Latest guidance on funeral services

Attendance

In England, the maximum number is 30 (subject to the venue’s COVID-secure limit); in Scotland it’s 20 (subject to the venue’s COVID-secure limit); and in Wales and Northern Ireland it is subject to the venue’s COVID-secure limit.

These limits are unchanged by the England and Scotland lockdowns announced on 4 January 2021. However, in England only six people (not including staff) can attend an ashes scattering, ritual washing or other linked event or custom associated with a funeral during the lockdown period. In Scotland, wakes are prohibited on the mainland and the limit for other ceremonial events is 20, in a COVID-secure setting.

Arranging the funeral

Managing a funeral – guidance

  • England: click here for updated full guidance published on 8 December 2020 (and click here for short-form guidance published on 13 January reflecting lockdown measures)
  • Northern Ireland: Click here for guidance published on 22 December 2020
  • Wales: Click here for guidance published on 23 December 2020
  • Scotland: Click here for guidance published on 5 January 2021

On the day of the funeral

Many firms in England, Wales and Scotland have safely re-introduced limousines for bereaved clients, following guidance to ensure they can be used safely, including the use of perspex screens,  limiting the number travelling to ensure they can sit as far back as possible and additional cleaning. In Northern Ireland, limousines are not permitted for use. Face coverings must be worn by passengers in funeral vehicles in England, Scotland and Wales and are advised for drivers.

Face coverings are required during all indoor funeral services (including places of worship, burial ground chapels and crematoria)

Webcasting/live streaming of the funeral service (using professional or personal devices) is possible at most crematoria, or may be something you wish to arrange for your clients – thereby enabling other mourners to still participate without putting themselves and others at risk of harm.

Please don’t publicly advertise the funeral details to reduce the risk of other, well-meaning mourners arriving unexpectedly. This is not permitted under current social distancing laws and they may be turned away at the door, which could be distressing for them and the bereaved family. It will also place your employees at unnecessary risk of harm.

Check with the service venue as there may be other changes too.

All charitable collections should be done online.

Further information

England

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-managing-a-funeral-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic

Wales

https://gov.wales/guidance-funerals-covid-19

Northern Ireland

https://www.health-ni.gov.uk/publications/covid-19-guidance-surrounding-death

Scotland

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-funeral-services/

You may find our Frequently Asked Questions useful for further information.

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