Funerals during lockdown – how do they work and when will they return to normal? – The Sun

SAYING goodbye to a deceased loved one has become more difficult with restrictions on funerals.

With the spread of coronavirus, the Government issued rules surrounding funerals and the people who can attend, a move that is meant to help stop the spread of the disease.

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How many people are allowed to attend funerals?

Funerals are still allowed to take place with funeral directors still permitted to operate.

As it stands, only immediate family members are allowed to attend funeral services.

Although this may vary from person to person, immediate family members generally refers to a parent, son or daughter, partner or spouse.

As a result of restrictions to how many people can attend a funeral service, you must check and confirm with your local council and funeral director as they may impose a limit on number of attendees.

When at funerals, mourners must observe the social distancing guidelines.

According to Public Health England: "Mourners should avoid any direct face to face or physical contact, for example hugging each other unless they are part of the same household."

But due to the high level of deaths, some councils shortened funerals to just 20 minutes long.


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What are the coronavirus rules on social gatherings?

The Cabinet Office said: "To make sure people are staying at home and apart from each other, the government is also stopping all public gatherings of more than two people."

The only time these rules may not apply is when the gathering is of a group of people who live together and when the gathering is essential for work purposes.

Weddings, baptisms and religious ceremonies have been banned, according to the Government.

"This excludes funerals, which can be attended by immediate family," according to a statement.

But 36 Tory MPs have signed a letter that calls for churches to be reopened for funerals, as long as safety measures remain in place.

Churches have been closed since March, with funerals currently only allowed to be held at the crematorium or graveside.

Do funeral directors need to wear PPE?

Public Health England has warned officials such as staff of mortuaries and funeral directors of continued risk of infection from dead bodies.

It says: "Those handling bodies should be aware that there is likely to be a continuing risk infection from the body fluids and tissue of cases where coronavirus (SARS-CoV2) infection is identified."

As a result, officials have been advised to wear personal protective equipment such as plastic aprons, disposable gloves and eye protection when dealing with someone who has died as a result of coronavirus.

Are burials being live streamed for family and friends who can't attend?

According to The Church of England's guidance for clergy when it comes to funeral services, family and friends of the deceased who cannot attend funerals should be engaged either by telephone or online.

The Church of England has released guidance in order to ensure funeral services can go ahead in a safe manner.

In the guidance, it is suggested that funerals can be live streamed from the graveside to loved ones who are not able to attend.

The Church of England encouraged people to get creative with streaming services.

Other institutions are encouraging the use of live streams at funerals as it limits the number of people who attend funerals.

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