Planning Funerals as at 10th June 2020 - Subject to change in different parts of the country

While funerals have currently been excluded from the ban on events taking place, funeral services are tightly restricted to minimise the risk of transmitting Covid-19 between those in attendance, funeral directors and crematoria staff.

It has been agreed that funerals can be held in churches in England from 15th June providing the individual churches can undertake the necessary risk assessment and cleaning. Churches will make their own decisions about hosting funerals in conjunction with the Diocesan office in each case. Funerals in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will continue to be held in crematoria for the time being.

Numbers attending will likely to be remain limited. Numbers permitted to attend has been 10 in most crematoria during the lockdown from March but is being relaxed in some areas to permit 20 as we ease out of lockdown. Please check with your Funeral Director what the arrangements are in your local crematorium as these now vary across the country and could change again if the infection rate increases.

As lockdown rules relax, variations have emerged across the UK, depending on infection rates and also different Government rules in the four countries. If you are currently planning a funeral please be prepared for  the following to still apply;

  • Funerals should be arranged over the phone if at all possible.                                                              
  • Funeral Directors may currently allow you to be able to permit a visit to the Chapel of Rest although this will be restricted in time and number of visitors. You must comply with any hygiene rules in place and at-risk groups (Persons over the age of 70 years or those of any age with underlying health problems) should not visit. Please note, not all Funeral Directors will permit viewings.
  • There has been a restriction on the use of limousines and during the lockdown these have only been used if there is no alternative option. If used, they will only be used to carry those living in the same household (in line with social distancing guidance) and limiting numbers transported in order to protect the driver.
  • Families are being asked not to publicly advertise the funeral details to reduce the risk of other, well-meaning mourners arriving unexpectedly as they will be turned away at the door, which could be distressing for them and the bereaved family.
  • It may not be possible to dress your loved in his or her own clothes.
  • Family members will not be permitted to carry or touch the coffin. Flowers may not be permitted.
  • During funeral services at this time, mourners will be required to remain two metres apart from anyone not living in their household at all times and to refrain from making physical contact with anyone outside of their own household, including other family members. Social distancing must be observed at all times.
  • All charitable collections will be done online. 

For more information about arranging funerals during the current situation, please contact your local funeral director.

If you are worried about paying for a loved one’s funeral, please visit the Down to Earth website for help and advice. If you live in the Dundee/Fife/Angus/Kinross-shire area of Scotland, please visit for help and advice.