Rules for funerals around the UK as of 23/7/20

27/07/2020   //   No Comments

Here are the current rules relating to the individual areas of the UK:


Funeral directors and their clients are exempt from face coverings inside funeral homes under legislation released on 23rd July. The legislation can be viewed here.

Please bear in mind that the two-metre ruling still applies between staff and clients at the funeral home, and if this is not feasible in your premises, then the one metre plus rule applies, where for safety, a face covering for staff and clients is expected to be worn. Please see this guidance by the NHS for further information. 


The use of limousines for transporting families must follow the two-metre distancing rule, and hygiene measures (hand sanitisers, face coverings etc). 

We understand this to mean single households can use limousines and should await further guidance from the Senedd. The first edition of SAIF’s Limousine Guidelines and Risk Assessment (issued in June) are relevant and can be viewed here and here respectively.

We are informed that there isn’t a currently a plan to revise guidance to require the use of face coverings in other settings such as retail. But officials have cautioned that this is “a rapidly evolving situation” so we may need to make further adjustments to guidance in the near future.

In some circumstances in Wales where it might be difficult to keep two metres’ distance from people outside of your household or household bubble, the Welsh Government’s advice is to use a three-layer, non-medical face covering. Further details can be found here

Clients do not need to wear face coverings when visiting funeral homes, but follow the two-metre social distancing rule.

For Test, Trace, Protect, the lead mourner invites attendees to the funeral service: family, and close friends. The lead mourner holds this information, should the NHS need to trace and isolate.

Chapels, churches and crematoria mourner numbers are determined locally under the two-metre ruling.

Northern Ireland

Face coverings are not compulsory but the Department of Health recommends that they should be worn when visiting a funeral home to view a body or for an indoor funeral service in a church or funeral home. 

The Department also recommends against the use of limousines by people not from the same household. Further information about this guidance can be found here. SAIF recognises that the Northern Ireland Department of Health’s advice regarding limousines differs to SAIF’s and would urge members to defer to any local official guidance in such circumstances. 


For information about rules for funerals in Scotland please visit SAIF Scotland’s Members’ Slack page or check the Scottish Government’s Burial & Cremation Team’s Covid-19 guidance.

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