Attending a funeral
How many people can attend a funeral in England and Wales?
In England and Wales, the government has advised 30 people can attend a funeral. This guidance could change if a local area faces tighter restrictions.
As every venue may have different rules on how many are allowed at a funeral service, your local funeral director will be able to let you know how many attendees your chosen funeral venue allows.
How many people can attend a funeral in Scotland?
In Scotland, the government has advised 20 people can attend a funeral and services are no longer limited to close family. The number may be lower if the venue is smaller and safe social distancing cannot be observed for 20 people. This guidance could change if a local area faces tighter restrictions.
Your local funeral director will know how many people can attend in your area. Or you can go to your own government’s advice for England, Scotland and Wales.
How many people are allowed at a wake?
Post-funeral gatherings or wakes are still allowed, but the rules are different depending on where they are to be held. Numbers are limited to:
- 15 people in England
- 20 people in Scotland
- 15 people in Wales
Attendees from different households will need to follow social distancing and other general guidelines on both indoor and outdoor gatherings.
Do I need to wear a face covering at a funeral?
Yes. If you’re attending a funeral at an indoor venue, please wear a face covering.
Who can go to a funeral?
So long as the number of people attending doesn’t exceed the number outlined by the government, it is up to you who goes to the funeral. Your funeral director will be let you know how many people can attend where you are.
Advice is still that anyone from the higher risk groups, for example over 70s, pregnant, or immunocompromised, should not attend.
Unless you live in the same household or are in a support bubble, we're asking mourners to make sure they are always 2 metres apart from each other.
Your local funeral home will be able to provide you with the most up to date guidance for your local area. Find your local funeral home here.
What’s changed for funeral services?
To maintain our levels of care to clients and colleagues, unfortunately there are a number of changes that we have to make to our service and we can no longer offer the following:
- bringing the coffin to rest at your home before the funeral
- taking fingerprints for silver fingerprints jewellery if the death is due to coronavirus
- catering services
- taking donations on families behalf - we ask that any donations are made direct to the chosen charity or organisation online
Please also note that:
- embalming is now only available in certain funeral homes - your local funeral director will be able to let you know if this service is available
- there may be less flexibility of day and time of the funeral - if this is the case, we’ll work through all the options with you
Can funerals be held in a church?
Yes, you can have a funeral in a church, but there are limits on how many people can attend. Your local funeral director will be able to advise you.
As guidance can change quickly, check the Church of England and Church of Scotland websites for the most up-to-date information.
Can the funeral still follow religious customs?
Your local funeral director will be able to advise on the options available for specific rituals and customs. Rest assured we’ll do everything we can to help you to say goodbye.
Are there any restrictions on the type of funeral for someone who’s died from coronavirus?
We’re well prepared to take care of people who have died with coronavirus in line with the official guidance. We have the necessary equipment, systems, processes and trained personnel to do this. We have specific ways of working prepared for anyone who dies in either an NHS facility or within the community, adapted from the PHE and HSE guidance.
There are no restrictions that prevent someone who has died from coronavirus having a funeral, whether that’s for a cremation or a burial. We’re following government guidelines closely and should the advice change we’ll provide updates on this page.
Do you have facilities for live streaming of funerals?
When arranging a funeral, we’ll work closely with the crematorium of your choice to understand if any live streaming or recording facilities are available for you to then share with wider family and friends (via a private web link) who are unable to attend in person.
Use of limousines
We've put measures in place to meet social distancing rules whilst using our vehicles. This is to protect you, your family and our colleagues as much as possible. Our cars have been adapted and fitted with screens separating the driver and passenger areas.
We advise that passengers do not travel if:
- they or someone they live with have experienced coronavirus symptoms within the last 7 days (including a high temperature, new and continuous cough or loss or change to sense of smell or taste)
- they or someone they live with have recently tested positive for coronavirus
- they or someone they live with are awaiting test results
- they've been asked to self-isolate for any other reason (e.g. traced as being in close contact with someone who’s been diagnosed with the virus)
Our colleagues will be maintaining social distancing with passengers.
The number of passengers allowed to travel in a limousine is limited to a maximum of 4 if they’re from the same household (including support bubbles).
Passengers from different households will not be able to share a limousine, unless they are in a support bubble.
All passengers must wear a face covering, which fully covers the nose and mouth, when travelling in the vehicle. Passengers must provide their own face covering.
If you'd like more information on what to expect when travelling in one of our vehicles, speak to your local funeral director. They'll be able to answer any questions you may have about our vehicles.
How can I register the death?
You'll need to register the death before the funeral can take place. The person who registers the death usually needs to visit the local registrar to do this, however you can now do this over the phone or online.
If you’re self-isolating or unable to register the death with the registrar directly, we can do this on your behalf.