Funerals during the Covid-19 outbreak

Read our guidance on how to minimise the spread of coronavirus when you arrange and attend funerals and other religious or commemorative events to mark a death during the Covid-19 outbreak.

For many people, losing a loved one is often a very emotional time and during the pandemic many families have not been able to organise the funeral they would have liked.

In all tiers, people can arrange and attend funerals and other religious or commemorative events to mark a death. However, there is now guidance in place to minimise the spread of coronavirus. You can also download a pdf of the information on this page below.

Arranging a funeral

As there are added pressures on the NHS, you should arrange a funeral to take place as soon as possible.

No more than 30 people can attend a funeral, whether held indoors or outdoors. This figure does not include funeral staff. However, the size of the venue and the requirement for social distancing may mean that fewer than 30 people will be permitted to attend.

Please think about who you would like to attend the service so that funeral directors, venue managers and other staff can work together to keep everyone safe and to keep within the law.

Attending a funeral

Please be advised that mourners who are not part of the 30 allowed in the venue should not gather outside funeral venues.
The following restrictions need to be followed when attending a funeral:

  • wear a face covering unless you are exempt
  • do not attend if you have Covid-19 symptoms
  • do not attend under any circumstances if you have been told you should self-isolate unless it is a funeral of a close family member - a partner, parent, sibling or grandparent
  • if you should be self-isolating but choose to attend, you must tell the venue manager. You must follow social distancing guidance and you must wear a surgical-grade Type IIR face mask or higher grade
  • people from different households should not mix at the funeral and should follow social distancing guidance

Alternative arrangements

Funeral directors and faith leaders can help advise you on how to involve mourners who cannot attend the funeral service.
For example:

  • many crematoria or places of worship, offer a live-streaming facility or video recording
  • you could organise a time to meet online to share memories of the deceased
  • you could ask people to contribute photos and stories to a website or Facebook page, or make a book which you could circulate
  • when restrictions are eased you could hold a memorial service

After the funeral

No more than six people can attend commemorative events related to a death such as ash scattering or a wake.

Coping with grief

Coping with grief when distanced from people you care about can be hard.
If you need extra support then you might like to consider contacting your local faith community, the Good Grief Trust or Dying Matters.