Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): funeral services in places of worship

Published: 19 Jun 2020

Guidance to help places of worship consider how to safely provide funeral services, as a permitted activity.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): funeral services in places of worship


The 2020 Regulations do not specify a number of attendees that may attend a funeral.  Following these Regulations coming into force on 26 March 2020, burial and cremation authorities (as well as a small number of places of worship) have continued to offer funeral services in as safe a manner as possible and as appropriate to their facilities.

This has involved many authorities implementing a maximum number of attendees, based on the need to minimise in person attendees, the spaces or facilitates they are responsible for and the staff they have available to manage funeral services as safely as possible.

Those responsible for places of worship can consider this approach for offering funeral services in regard to their own circumstances and requirements.

Setting a maximum number of attendees for particular places of worship will likely act as an effective method of managing expectations in their community at this difficult time.

Any guidance provided to communities on numbers attending a service in a place of worship must remain in line with wider requirements for funeral services set out above, taking into account the 2020 Regulations and that in person attendance at a funeral service should continue to be minimised as far as possible.

Provision of electronic attendance

In order to assist the most vulnerable in their communities who may wish to attend or view a funeral service, a place of worship should consider making provision of remote attendance e.g. via livestreaming or recording of a service in their place of worship.

This may also require the creation of a local policy on the use of electronic devices within a place of worship for attendees.