The Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic has presented an unprecedented set of challenges for bereaved families who are having to arrange funeral services for loved ones, as well as many mourners who wish to pay their final respects.
Whilst funerals are still able to go ahead for now, there have been some important changes. The National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD), alongside several other funeral related organisations, have formed the Deceased Management Advisory Group (DMAG), which is regularly liaising with government officials and cabinet members on the sector’s response to COVID-19.
Funeral Guide will continually update this page with the latest advice as and when it becomes available.
The following information is accurate as of the 29th April 2020.
Can I arrange a funeral during the pandemic?
Yes, you can still go ahead and arrange a funeral. Please be aware that while funeral homes will remain open, funerals should be arranged over the phone or via other electronic means, wherever possible. You can find and compare funeral directors near you using Funeral Guide.
Can I arrange a funeral if I have Coronavirus symptoms?
If you or anyone else involved in arranging a funeral has symptoms of Coronavirus, or has tested positive for the infection, please remain self-isolated and follow the government's advice.You can still arrange a funeral online, or over the phone.
Can I view my loved one in a chapel of rest during the pandemic?
In most cases, yes, you can still view your loved one, but it is vital that you make the arrangements beforehand. Once you have agreed a time to visit with your funeral director, be very careful to only visit with others living in the same household. If you are in an at-risk group, you are strongly advised not to make a visit.
Can I attend a funeral during the pandemic?
The government has advised that funeral services should be restricted to the smallest possible number of attendees to help reduce the risk of spreading the infection. Numbers can be determined by the size and circumstance of the venue.
observing social distancing guidance across all aspects of attending a funeral people who are extremely clinically vulnerable (shielded) can attend with measures put in place to reduce their risk people self-isolating because someone in their household is ill may attend if they do not have symptoms themselves
Only consider attending a funeral if you are a member of the same household or immediate family member*. People who are extremely clinically vlunerable (shielded) can attend with measures put in place to reduce their risk. If you do attend, then be sure to maintain a distance of two metres from other mourners, and do not make physical contact with anyone from outside of your household. Any individual displaying symptoms of Coronavirus should not attend.
*Immediate family is defined as:
- Children (and partners)
Where can I hold the funeral?
You can hold the funeral in many of the same locations as before, but there have been some closures. The Church of England have closed all of their churches, and many other religious organisations have enforced similar policies. Many crematoriums now have restrictions on the number of people allowed at a service, and how you can interact during it. You will have to talk to your funeral director about how this affects you and your arrangements.
Is there any way that I can view a service online?
Yes, there are several ways that funeral services can be viewed over the internet. The most common way is via webcasting, or live streaming. Many funeral directors now offer this service which allows many people to attend a funeral, without putting anyone at risk. Read Funeral Guide’s Live Streaming Funerals article to find out more about this.
How can I donate in memory of someone without being at the funeral?
You can donate to charity in memory of your loved one online. If the funeral director is a Funeral Guide client, you can donate via their online obituary.
How should I let people know about an upcoming funeral?
The government has advised that you do not publicly advertise the time or location of a funeral. This reduces the risk of others arriving unexpectedly. If anyone unexpected does turn up, they may be turned away at the door, which could be distressing for them and the bereaved family. It will also place key funeral workers at risk of catching the infection.