Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for funeral services

Published: 2 Jun 2020
Last updated: 7 Jul 2020 - see all updates

This guidance explains what restrictions are currently in place for funeral services and wider public health guidance relevant for funeral services.

Contents
Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for funeral services
Funeral service

Funeral service

Those attending a funeral, or advising others on attendance, should review and follow the below:

  • You can attend a funeral service if you are a household member of the person who has died or if you are a close family member of the person who has died. If no household or close family members are attending the funeral, then you can attend if you are a friend of the person who has died.
  • in line with wider public health advice, in person funeral service attendance should continue to be kept to the minimum number of people possible
  • all attendees must maintain at least a 2 metre distance from each other at all times (except where they are from the same household, or a carer and the person is assisted by the carer)
  • if a person is symptomatic (showing symptoms of COVID-19 infection) or has tested positive with COVID-19 they must not attend a funeral service in person, during the period they are required to self-isolate
  • if a person is not symptomatic or a confirmed COVID-19 case, but is self-isolating due to another member of their household either showing symptoms of COVID-19 or their household member has tested positive with COVID-19, that person must seriously consider not attending a funeral service in person. They should instead continue to follow household self-isolation advice
  • if person is not symptomatic or a confirmed COVID-19 case, but is self-isolating as a result of other contact (identified through contact tracing), they must seriously consider not attending a funeral service in person. This person should instead follow all contact tracing and self-isolation advice provided to them
  • if available, those who are unable or cannot attend in person should consider joining remotely via electronic means or viewing a recording of the service
  • all attendees should maintain good hand and respiratory hygiene, both before and after attending a service

Attendance of people who are in the higher risk group or extremely high risk group

If you are considered part of the higher risk or extremely high risk group and wish to attend a funeral service in person, you must seriously consider this in line with important public health advice applicable to you and available on NHS Inform.

You should always, in the first instance, consider attendance via electronic means or view a recording of the service.

Further requirements

Good hand and respiratory hygiene will include maintaining regular hand washing and use of hand sanitiser. It also includes avoiding touching your face, along with covering your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing with disposable tissues and disposing of them in the nearest waste bin after use. Further information on actions to help prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) is available on NHS Inform.

As outlined above, all attendees will be required to maintain a 2 metre distance (physical distancing) from one another throughout a funeral service. As well as maintaining distance from other households attending a service outlined above, this will include maintaining physical distancing from burial or cremation authority staff and others facilitating a service.

It is very important that physical distancing advice is adhered to and followed by all both before, during and after a funeral service.

Face coverings

We have published guidance on the use of face coverings in public, particularly within enclosed public spaces.

Physical distancing, hand washing and respiratory hygiene are the most important and effective measures to help prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). The wearing of facial coverings must not be used as an alternative to any of these other precautions.

This guidance can however be considered by those attending a funeral service as a further precautionary measure.

Further information

Information on what to do when someone dies, including accessing bereavement services or support, or support with funeral costs, is available: What do do after a death in Scotland.


First published: 2 Jun 2020 Last updated: 7 Jul 2020 -