We'll be updating this page with any information and advice regarding funerals and the coronavirus outbreak.
Our funeral poverty advice line is open and can be reached on 020 8983 5055. Read our practical guide for organising a funeral during the pandemic here.
As of 23 March, government guidance is that funerals cannot be conducted in places of worship, only at the crematorium or graveside, and are only to be attended by immediate family. People in high-risk groups, with Covid-19 symptoms or who are meant to be in self-isolation should not attend.
The funeral sector’s Death Management Advisory Group recommends that immediate family is:
- Children (and partners)
If the deceased person had few, if any immediate, relatives but close a friend wished to attend the service, that would be reasonable – or in the case of the death of a grandparent, attendance by the grandchildren would be appropriate.
Further guidance from the National Association of Funeral Directors is as follows:
- Wherever possible, funerals should be arranged over the phone or via electronic means. If the funeral must be arranged in person, social distancing guidelines should be respected;
- Do not arrange a funeral in person if anyone involved has Covid-19 symptoms or should be in self isolation;
- At risk groups are urged not to attend the chapel of rest or the service;
- It is recommended that limousines are only used if there is no alternative option and, if used, should only be used to carry those living in the same household;
- During the service, all mourners should remain two metres apart from anyone not living in their household at all times;
- Live streaming of the funeral service may be possible – enabling others to still participate without putting themselves and others at risk;
- Don’t publicly advertise the funeral details to reduce the risk of other, well-meaning mourners arriving unexpectedly.
Please be aware that this is only guidance. Some funeral directors and crematoria are imposing their own restrictions and making individual choices about how to operate during the pandemic.
Guidance from faith organisations:
- Church of England - see FAQ section ‘Can funerals still go ahead?
- Catholic Church for England and Wales
- Muslim Council of Britain