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


We understand that most faith and belief communities in Scotland have halted the provision of funeral services in their places of worship. These difficult decisions were taken in line with wider restrictions on all services being held at a place of worship, as well as other public gatherings.

This guidance is to help those responsible for places of worship and their ongoing consideration for reopening for funeral services, to help support their communities and in line with current restrictions.

It is not an instruction or request to reopen a place of worship for a funeral service. Each place of worship should make its own decision when it is safe to do so.

Reopening for funeral services should only be done if that can be carried out as safely as possible. Any assessment will include taking into account a place of worship’s own circumstances, this guidance and its requirements as well as wider public health advice at this time.

We have also published guidance for places of worship on re-opening for individual prayer or contemplation

Funeral services and risk of transmission

We recognise that the wider public health restrictions currently in place for funeral services are difficult for all who are bereaved.

In the current pandemic there will continue to be a risk of transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) wherever families and communities come together following the death of a loved one, from any cause.

Restrictions that are currently in place are very important to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 between households and amongst communities.