Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for funeral services

Published: 30 Oct 2020
Last updated: 27 Apr 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.

Contents
Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for funeral services
Funeral wakes/post-funeral gatherings

Funeral wakes/post-funeral gatherings 

Post-funeral gatherings, e.g. wakes or funeral teas, in regulated venues can take place at levels 0-3. They are not permitted at level 4. 

Post-funeral gatherings can only take place in regulated venues (e.g. hospitality venues). The maximum attendees permitted at post-funeral gatherings is set out in Scotland’s Protection Levels. Numbers of attendees will also be based on the size of the venue and its ability to maintain strict physical distancing measures, so the number able to attend may be less than the maximum number set by the Scottish Government for the area. We strongly encourage you to contact your funeral director or venue in advance to check the capacity, with physical distancing, of the venue where the post-funeral gathering or wake will be held. 

Outwith regulated venues, any gathering for a post-funeral gathering must adhere to the general rules on indoor and outdoor gatherings.

Alcohol is permitted to be served in regulated venues. The requirements for physical distancing, hygiene and other mitigation measures should be carefully followed, both by the venues hosting such occasions and those attending.  

Organised occasions or gatherings to mark a significant event like a funeral will understandably involve people who know one another well, and who may wish to greet or console one another.  Consequently, the requirements for physical distancing, hygiene and other mitigation measures should be carefully followed both by the venues hosting such occasions and those attending the events.  

Physical distancing requirements in regulated venues may mean that less than the maximum number of people set by the Scottish Government can attend the post-funeral gathering. It is recommended that you check with the venue in advance how many people can be accommodated while still observing physical distancing guidance. 

Guidance for the hospitality sector is available. 

Funeral-related commemorative events 

In all areas of Scotland, funeral-related commemorative events (e.g. ashes scatterings, stone setting, visiting a grave) can take place but attendance should be limited in line with the attendance limits for funerals, according to the relevant protection level. Physical distancing should be adhered to at all times.

In a private home/garden, these events are limited by the general rules on indoor/outdoor gatherings.  


First published: 30 Oct 2020 Last updated: 27 Apr 2021 -