Attending a funeral
How many people can attend a funeral in England and Wales?
In England and Wales, there's no set limit on how many people can attend a funeral. Crematoriums and places of worship each have an individual capacity depending on the size and layout of the building.
The legal requirement is that all reasonable measures are taken to ensure a distance of two metres is kept between those attending. This means a distance of two metres between members of different households, rather than between each individual person in the same household.
Your local funeral director will be able to let you know how many attendees your chosen funeral venue allows, or you can go to your own government’s advice for England and Wales.
How many people can attend a funeral in Scotland?
In Scotland, the number of people that can attend a funeral depends on where the funeral will take place based on the Protection Level system. If the funeral is to take place in a Level 2 area, 50 people can attend. The number may be lower if the venue is smaller and safe social distancing cannot be observed for 50 people.
If the funeral is in a Level 1 area, up to 100 people can attend, and Level 0 areas can allow up to 200 people at funeral services. The maximum numbers permitted are on the condition of two metre social distancing and are set by the venue.
To find out which level an area is in, visit the Scottish Government website.
How many people are allowed at a wake?
Post-funeral gatherings or wakes are still allowed in some areas in the UK. See the current rules in England, Wales and Scotland below.
In England, wakes and post-funeral gatherings are allowed in groups of no more than 30 people.
In Wales, outdoor wakes and post funeral gatherings are permitted for up to 30 people. Indoor wakes and post-funeral gatherings are permitted for up to 15 people. Any children aged under 11 or carers aren't included in these numbers.
In Scotland, the Protection Level system determines how many people are allowed at a wake.
- Level 2 areas - up to 50 people
- Level 1 areas - up to 100 people
- Level 0 areas - up to 200 people
The maximum numbers are set by the venue of the post-funeral gathering or wake.
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 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 10 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 6 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.