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Funerals and wakes provide closure during times of great emotional strain and are especially valuable during a pandemic. Hundreds of thousands of people have died before their time over the last year, and restrictions deprived many people of the opportunity to bid them farewell. Unfortunately, they would have risked spreading deadly Covid infections further afield, but now cases have dropped, the Government is on track to dismiss these limitations altogether.
When will the Government lift restrictions on wakes?
Covid cases and deaths are dwindling in the UK after surging for months, allowing the Government to follow its roadmap for England.
The roadmap “cautiously” lays out dates ministers hope to introduce aspects of normality, and it has already realised the first two steps.
The third comes in two weeks and will change the way people conduct both funerals and wakes.
The Government aims to realise stage three of its plan on May 17.
Ministers will lift “most” social contact rules, allowing all gatherings except those over 30 to take place.
People can also sit inside many venues once more, setting the stage for larger funerals and wakes.
And the Government has planned just that, as provided the current case trend continues, it will remove limits on funerals and pare-back those on wakes.
Wakes can currently accept up to 15 mourners maximum, but this will double on May 17.
By then, the wake limit will move to 30 maximum, alongside wedding receptions.
Rather than increase ceilings, the Government intends to change the way it calculates them.
Phase three will remove blanket limits on funerals and replace them with venue-specific recommendations.
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Venue organisers with places of worship will need to decide how many people they can accommodate.
They must ensure they only allow people to attend as long as numbers don’t infringe on social distancing rules.
Although capacity will vary by venue, the Government estimates “significantly more” than 30 people can now attend funerals.
The latest move comes as hospital admissions and cases of “Severe illness” fall in line with official predictions.
To continue down the roadmap’s current path, the Government has set out the following conditions:
- Vaccine deployment continues successfully
- Vaccines prove sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths
- Infection rates don’t risk a hospitalisations surge
- Variants of Concern do not alter risk assessments
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