Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for funeral services

Published: 30 Oct 2020
Last updated: 21 Jul 2021 - see all updates

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

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for funeral services
Overview

Overview

Changes From 19 July 2021

On 19 July 2021, Scotland moved into level 0. That means up to 200 people will be able to attend a funeral service, with physical distancing. 

Up to 200 people, with physical distancing, will also be able to attend a post-funeral gathering in a regulated venue. A post-funeral gathering held at a private dwelling must follow the general rules on indoor and outdoor gathering.

Physical distancing rules have also changed. 

Please see the protection level 0 guidance for more information. 

About this guidance

This guidance explains what restrictions are in place for funeral services and wider public health guidance relevant for funeral services based on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) protection levels.

You can confirm the current level for your area using the Scottish Government postcode checker.

This guidance also offers practical advice for staff and the public on managing funerals in a safe way.

The protection levels table sets out the maximum number of people permitted to attend funeral services in each of the levels. This is provided that the venue size and layout will permit the necessary physical distancing between households to be in place. This means the number of people able to attend may be less, and sometimes significantly less, than the maximum for the level the venue is in. 

Dedicated guidance has also been published separately for funeral director businesses and hospitality and burial and cremation authorities.

Continuing restrictions

We understand how difficult ongoing restrictions to funeral services required to minimise the risk of infection from the pandemic will have on those who are bereaved.

Families and friends who have lost loved ones during this difficult time are respectfully asked to continue to adhere to all restrictions that are currently in place for funeral services.  Doing so will help protect the health of us all.

Funeral services and the risk of transmission

Throughout this 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.

Whilst recognising the importance of these rituals and gatherings, it is strongly advised that this guidance is strictly followed to reduce the potential spread of infection.


First published: 30 Oct 2020 Last updated: 21 Jul 2021 -