Wednesday, 21 Oct 2020

Lockdown funeral rules: How many people can attend funerals? New rules explained

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From Monday, September 28 a number of new coronavirus lockdown rules come into place in the UK. The Government has published new legal documents, replacing old rules on things such as face coverings and social gathering restrictions. Read on to find out the current rules for funerals in England.

How many people can attend a funeral?

Restrictions have recently come into force to reduce the number of people who are allowed to attend weddings.

However, under the current lockdown guidance, 30 people will still be allowed to attend a funeral at this time.

The total number in attendance does not include people who are working as part of the funeral service.

The 30 person limit only applies to the funeral ceremony, and unless it is for a religious, ceremonial purpose, the Government guidance says wakes must only take place in groups of six people or less.

The rule of six in these circumstances does not apply if everyone present is from the same household or support bubble.

The venue of the funeral must be able to safely accommodate this number of people, as social distancing of at least two-metres must be maintained, meaning some venues may not be able to hold 30 people safely.

The Government’s national guidance for attending funerals in England states both friends and family can attend a funeral under lockdown rules now.

People attending a funeral are also permitted to stay overnight in order to attend.

However the guidance states it is “advised this should only be with your own household or support bubble”, or with one other household providing social distancing measures can be strictly adhered to.

People in attendance at a funeral should also wear a face covering.

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What are the rules for people self-isolating?

The Government guidance states people who have symptoms of COVID-19 should not attend the funeral in person as this risks spreading COVID-19.

People with symptoms are advised to self-isolate immediately for at least 10 days and request a coronavirus test.

For people who are self-isolating but do not have symptoms, Government guidance is different.

The Government state: “Mourners of the deceased person may include those who are self-isolating due to another member of the household or support bubble being unwell with symptoms of COVID-19 or as advised by NHS Test and Trace.

“Where the funeral is scheduled before the period of household or support bubble isolation has been completed (14 days from when the first person in that household or support bubble started showing symptoms) mourners who are self-isolating should be facilitated to attend.”

Further guidance is available on the Government website, but people who are self-isolating should maintain a social distance of at least two-metres at all times.

Other attendees at the funeral should be aware the person/people self-isolating are doing so.

People self-isolating should also make sure not to attend the ceremony when a clinically vulnerable or clinically extremely vulnerable person is present.

Coughs and sneezes must be covered, and strict attention should be paid to hand and respiratory hygiene.

There is additional guidance available for people who wish to attend a funeral who are classed as clinically vulnerable or clinically extremely vulnerable.

There are also further rules in place for people attending a funeral who are visiting England from countries not exempt from the self-isolation advice.

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