COVID-19 rules for funerals

On June 21, the rules surrounding attendance at funerals changed.

Prior to that date, the numbers allowed into a church, crematorium or ceremonial resting place were limited to 30 or fewer depending on the size of the venue.

Now, under the new, more relaxed, rules there will be no restrictions when it comes to mourners attending a funeral or commemoration.

However, the permitted attendance still depends upon the size of the venue or outdoor space.

What are the COVID-19 rules for funerals?

  1. In a Covid-secure venue, such as a place of worship, town hall, restaurant or hotel, it will be up to the manager of the venue to assess how many people will be able to attend.
  2. If you are holding the funeral ceremony in the garden of a private home, on private land, or in a public outdoor space, then the person organising everything will need to make the space as Covid-safe as possible.
  3. If you plan on having a funeral gathering of more than 30 people in your own outdoor space, you must do this by completing a COVID-19 risk assessment to determine how many will actually be able to attend. Following this guidance, you need to make the gathering as safe as possible. It’s not necessary to send your risk assessment to anyone, but you should keep it updated in the run up to the event and retain it for 28 days.
  4. For any funeral event that takes place indoors at a private home, in line with the wider rules for meeting indoors, up to six people, or more if everyone present is from the same two households, can attend.
  5. This may seem obvious, but you should not go to a funeral if you’re displaying any symptoms of coronavirus.
  6. Everyone who attends a funeral must wear a face covering in the places of worship, crematorium or burial chapel they are attending, unless they have a good reason to be exempt.
  7. If you’ve been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace because you’ve tested positive for coronavirus, or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, you shouldn’t attend a funeral.
  8. However, it is possible to attend a funeral if you’ve been told to self-isolate and you are a close family member of the person who has died. Under these exceptional circumstances the venue manager must be informed and you need to take extra precautions such as observing strict hygiene protocols, as well as wearing a surgical grade mask.
  9. If you’ve recently returned to the UK from a country that means you should self-isolate for 14 days on your return, you are allowed to attend a funeral in this period.
  10. When travelling to a funeral, burial ground, wake or other ceremony you should travel in a car by yourself or with those in your household or support bubble, particularly if you’ve been advised to shield or are breaking a period of self-isolation to attend.