Public Health England has issued further guidance about attending funerals.
There is an increased risk of transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) where families and communities come together following the death of a loved one, from any cause.
Funerals are an important part of grieving for a loved one and can proceed without delay, but it is strongly advised that the actions detailed in the Public Health guidance are taken to reduce the spread of infection.
Hertfordshire is currently in national lockdown. Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people. Linked commemorative events (such as wakes, stone settings and ash scatterings) can also continue with up to 15 people in attendance. Social distancing should be maintained between people who do not live together or share a support bubble.
Who can attend a funeral?
A modest number of close friends and family of the deceased may attend although funerals should have no more than 30 people in attendance.
There may be limits below the 30 person limit for specific venues in order to ensure everyone is safe. Your funeral director or crematoria will advise on any specific limits.
The guidance also advises:
- people self-isolating because someone in their household is ill may attend if they don't have symptoms themselves
- people who are extremely clinically vulnerable can attend with measures to reduce their risk
- people with symptoms of coronavirus must not attend (stay at home)
- people who have travelled to England from countries that are not exempt from the requirement to self-isolate (in the last 10 days) may attend
- social distancing should be maintained at all times during the funeral and on the journey to and from the funeral.
Guidance for mourners
Guidance to stay safe includes:
- wear face coverings in indoor places of worship, crematoria and burial ground chapels
- keep at least 2 metres (3 steps) away from others
- wash your hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds using soap and water or hand sanitiser. Do this particularly after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose, or after being in public areas
- when you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue then throw it away. If you don't have a tissue, use the crook of your sleeved arm (not your hands).
Future changes to restrictions
The government has published a roadmap out of the current Covid-19 restrictions which includes timescales for changes to the attendance at funerals and related events.