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Coronavirus Advice & Information for Funerals

picture of flowers on a coffin


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.

Funerals and wakes can go ahead, but there are some considerations to make. 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 July 19 2021

Can I arrange a funeral during the pandemic?

Yes, you can still go ahead and arrange a funeral. There are no longer any legal restrictions around funeral services in England, but some venues will still have restrictions in place, so make sure to check.

How many people can attend a funeral?

In England, there is no longer a limit of the number of people who can attend a funeral. There may still be a limit depending on the space a venue has, so always check before you travel to, or arrange, a funeral. You must continue to wear face coverings inside.

In Scotland, the number of funeral attendees is still limited, depending on the current protection level of the local area.

How many people can attend a wake?

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland wakes are allowed to go ahead without a cap on attendance. In England, there are no legal restrictions for the number of people allowed in a venue, but always check first, as each venue has the right to decide on what they feel is safe.

In Scotland, the number of funeral attendees is still limited, depending on the current protection level of the local area.

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.

Do I need to wear a mask at a funeral?

No. As of July 19, you do not have to wear a mask at any point during a funeral, but the government still advises that you should wear a mask in an indoor, crowded space. Indiviudals may also feel more comfortable still wearing a mask, especially if they are vulnerable.

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.

Where can I hold the funeral?

You can hold the funeral in many of the same locations as before, as restrictions have now been lifted. Some crematoriums and chapels may 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.

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