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Explains who can attend funerals and the need for social distancing.

First published:
4 April 2020
Last updated:

Funerals can be a distressing experience, and the impact of coronavirus is making it even more difficult to make practical arrangements. This guidance has been prepared to help people at this very difficult time.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (Wales) Regulations 2020 place new, temporary restrictions on gatherings and the movement of people in Wales.

This has been done to reduce the spread of coronavirus, save lives and protect the Welsh NHS. The new regulations require people to stay at home.

They do allow people to leave home to attend a funeral if:

  • you are the person organising the funeral
  • you have been invited to the funeral
  • you are the carer of a person who is attending the funeral (either because they are the organiser or they have been invited)

Everyone attending a funeral – whether at a crematorium, place of worship or cemetery – should take all reasonable measures to stay 2 metres away from someone they don’t live with or care for. This will help to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

Those responsible for running the crematorium, place of worship or cemetery will make arrangements to maintain this 2 metre rule. 

The need to maintain 2 metres between people means the number of people who will be able to attend a funeral will be limited.

The maximum number who will be able to attend a funeral will be clearly communicated to you before the funeral takes place. To help protect against the spread of coronavirus, please could funerals be by invitation only.

The death of anyone close to you is a very distressing and sad event. But at this time, we ask you to only attend funerals of your closest family and friends and only if you have been invited. Please do not attend a funeral if it would involve extensive travel.

If you have symptoms of coronavirus – a high temperature or a new, persistent cough or loss of smell or taste  – you should not attend.  If you are self-isolating you should not attend due to a possible case of coronavirus in your household you can attend if you take steps to minimise the risk of transmission.  If you are extremely vulnerable or in a shielded group you should also be helped to attend, if you wish to. .

Funerals can be broadcast and livestreamed so people who cannot be physically present can attend the ceremony virtually. In addition, books of condolence can be opened online and other tributes paid through electronic communications or social media.

Family and friends may also want to consider holding a memorial service or celebration of life once the coronavirus pandemic is over.

It is important that you do not delay the funeral of your loved one.  We understand how difficult this will be for their families and friends, however the current guidance will be in place for the foreseeable future for the safety of the public and to ensure that funeral directors, crematoriums and burial grounds can continue to offer as normal a service as possible.

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