Faith, worship, funerals and bereavement

Funerals and mourning

Updated 26 December 2020

30 people can attend funeral ceremonies and 6 people can attend linked commemorative events such as wakes or stonesettings.

Burials and cremations are both permitted.

Read the government guidance for managing a funeral during the coronavirus pandemic.

Some cemeteries and crematoria can web-cast the funeral for family and friends. Please check with your local cemetery or crematorium.

Attending funerals

You should note the following:

  • if you have any coronavirus symptoms you should not attend. Self-isolate immediately and get tested. Symptoms include a high temperature, new continuous cough or change of taste or smell. Request a test online, or by phoning 119
  • if you have been instructed to self-isolate you must not attend. This applies whether you have tested positive or been in contact with someone who has
  • there is a legal exception for close relatives of the deceased to attend but even they are strongly advised not to attend. If they do attend, they must inform the funeral director and other mourners in advance, and must wear a surgical grade Type IIR face mask or higher grade. See the government’s funerals guidance for people required to self-isolate.
  • you must wear a face covering inside the funeral venue, in a funeral director’s vehicle and travelling to and from it on public transport, taxi or private hire vehicle unless you have a valid exemption
  • stay at least two metres (six feet or three paces) apart during funerals and when travelling to and from them
  • wash your hands more often than usual or use hand sanitiser. Cover coughs and sneezes. There may be mourners present who are clinically extremely vulnerable or vulnerable

Remembering loved ones

The pandemic prevents people mourning and remembering loved ones in the usual ways. There are other ways to do so.

You can post tributes online to remember individuals and share in collective grief.

You can remember somebody who has died in Essex as a result of the coronavirus pandemic at www.rememberme2020.uk. This national book of remembrance is open to people of any religious faith or none. It is a space to remember anybody who has died in the UK as a result of the pandemic, whether they had COVID-19 or not.

You can put a star in a digital sky, or a flower in a digital garden. Perhaps a photo and what that person meant to you through a personalised online dedication on the Cruse website.

You could also remember somebody by, for instance creating a special spot in your home or garden, creating and sharing a playlist of their favourite music, posting a tribute in a local newspaper or sharing memories in a social media group.

More information

Visit our pages on What to do when someone dies.

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