Planning Funerals (as at 6th April 2020)

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.

Funerals can only take place in crematoria at the moment as churches have been told to close to reduce the risk of spreading the virus and attendance is currently limited to members of the immediate family who are not in any of the high-risk categories or self-isolating (people over 70, pregnant women and those with underlying health conditions).  The immediate family are:

Spouse/Partner
Parents/carers
Brothers/Sisters
Children (and partners)

Close friends may be permitted where the deceased had few relations. Funeral Directors will advise how many attendees the local crematorium is permitting. This is currently about 10 in most crematoria but may change in response to Government advice in coming weeks. 

  • Funerals should be arranged over the phone if at all possible.                                                              
  • Funeral Directors may currently 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.
  • The National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) is advising that limousines are only 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.