Funeral rule changes: Every new restriction for funerals and wakes

Nicola Sturgeon explains ‘changes’ to weddings and funerals

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Funerals are a sad part of life, but for those mourning loved ones restrictions have added even more upset to these occasions when mandatory limits on numbers of attendees were put into effect. Funerals amid lockdown have been subject to many rules, but now the end of these restrictions may be in sight.

Funerals were limited to a set number of people during lockdown as authorities attempted to limit the spread of coronavirus.

From May 17, the number of people able to attend funerals was lifted – meaning an unlimited number could attend.

However, there was a limit of 30 on those who could attend wakes.

The limit applied to both indoor and outdoor venues, with all organisers mandating venues be Covid-secure and follow social distancing rules.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the Government will lift the 30 guest cap on wakes from June 21.

The June 21 lockdown easing was postponed for the most part until July 19.

However, the cap on weddings and wakes will be lifted as planned from June 21.

This means the decision will be left up to individual venues to decide how many people can attend, in line with social distancing guidelines.

Speaking on Monday, Mr Johnson said: “To give the NHS that extra time we will hold off Step 4 openings until July 19 except for weddings that can still go ahead with more than 30 guests provided social distancing remains in place and the same will apply to wakes.

“And we will continue the pilot events – such as Euro2020 and some theatrical performances.

“We will monitor the position every day and if after two weeks we have concluded that the risk has diminished then we reserve the possibility of proceeding to Step 4 and full opening sooner.”

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In addition to changes to weddings and funerals, changes to care homes rules, overnight trips and large pilot events will be executed.

Care home residents will not necessarily have to self-isolate after leaving their care homes, and they will be able to nominate an “essential caregiver” who can visit, even if they are self-isolating.

Children will be permitted to go on overnight trips in groups of 30 with, for example, the Scouts or Guides, or as part of summer residential schools.

Large events pilots will continue, including more Euro 2020 games and a number of other sports, arts and music events.

Elsewhere in the UK, the funeral rules differ from those in England.

In Scotland, three different levels are currently in effect after a spike in coronavirus cases in some areas

Under the highest level in force, level two – only 50 people can attend funeral services, while 100 can attend in level one areas and 200 in level 0 areas.

In Northern Ireland, funeral services are not permitted in private homes and tables must include up to 10 people only.

As of May 17, up to 50 people are permitted indoors and 30 outdoors at funeral services in Wales.

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