Funeral rules: When will Government lift funeral attendance limits?

Co-op Funeralcare discuss grief during the COVID-19 pandemic

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Covid has caused more than a years’ worth of social limits in the UK, 15 months in total. They have caused significant consequences for British residents, from outlawing hugs to causing business closures. But few restrictions have caused as much emotional strain as wedding or funeral limits.

When will the Government lift funeral attendance limits?

The Government has capped the number of people allowed to attend funerals since last year.

When the pandemic hit full swing in March, ministers limited potential attendees to immediate family only.

The cap has now extended to 30, and the limit will shrink again later this month.

Ministers announced today they would remove the 30-person limit with the third step of the Government’s lockdown roadmap.

After “careful consideration” they said current data suggests May 17 remains the earliest point these changes can take place.

New rules will instead focus on venue capacity, modified on how many people can safely attend without straining social distancing measures.

The Government expects while capacities vary, this should allow “significantly more” than 30 attendees.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick announced the news in a release posted to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

He praised people for making “huge sacrifices” during the pandemic.

And he said it was apparent “nowhere” more than the “deeply painful” funeral restrictions.

Mr Jenrick added he would work with faith leaders and managers to introduce new, safe arrangements.

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He said: “I am pleased we are now in a position, thanks to everyone’s continued efforts and the rollout of the vaccine, to remove these limits and allow more friends and family to come together and pay their respects.

“I look forward to working with faith leaders responsible for places of worship, and those who manage venues such as funeral homes, to introduce the new arrangements in a way that continues to keep people safe.”

Ministers will back up their funeral restrictions with a similar decision for other gatherings.

From May 17, the number of people allowed to attend wakes or wedding receptions will also increase.

The current upper limit for wakes is 15 people, per rule changes on April 12.

Upcoming alterations will see this cap increase by double to 30.

The limits will apply for receptions and weddings, with other life events allowed to resume.

Bar mitzvahs and christenings can start again from May 17 as well.

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