Limit on mourners at funerals to be lifted from May 17

The legal limit of 30 mourners will be removed as part of the next stage of lockdown easing.

The legal limit of 30 mourners will be removed as part of the next stage of lockdown easing. - Credit: PA

The limit on the number of mourners who can attend funerals is to be lifted in England, the Government has announced.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) on Monday said that the legal limit of 30 mourners will be removed as part of the next stage of lockdown easing, expected on May 17.

A funeral director wears a face covering by a sign advising of Covid regulations.

A funeral director wears a face covering by a sign advising of Covid regulations. - Credit: PA

Instead the capacity will be determined by how many people venues, such as places of worship or funeral homes, can safely accommodate while maintaining social distancing, the department added.

This includes both indoor and outdoor venues and all organisers must continue to be Covid-secure and follow social distancing rules, it said.

The Queen sitting alone for the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh.

The Queen sitting alone for the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh. - Credit: PA

While venue capacities will vary, many will allow "significantly" more than 30 people to attend, the MHCLG said.


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Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said: "The British people have made huge sacrifices throughout the pandemic to protect the NHS and save lives, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the deeply painful restrictions on the numbers attending funerals.

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick... tells MPs why he pushed through Westferry scheme. Picture: Aaron

Communities secretary Robert Jenrick - Credit: PA

"Losing a loved one has been incredibly hard during the pandemic and 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.

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"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."

Social distancing at a funeral with the number of mourners limited.

Social distancing at a funeral with the number of mourners limited. - Credit: Rosedale Funeral Home

The department said that limits for other life or commemorative events are expected to remain as set out in the road map.

Under Step 3 of the road map, from no earlier than May 17 up to 30 people will be able to attend weddings, receptions and wakes, as well as other types of significant life events, including bar mitzvahs and christenings.

Most social contact rules outside will also be lifted, although gatherings of more than 30 people will remain illegal.

All remaining restrictions on social contact could be lifted from June 21, allowing for larger events to go ahead and nightclubs to reopen.

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