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How many people are allowed at a funeral in the Wirral

How Many People are Allowed at a Funeral in the Wirral

Losing a loved one is a very difficult experience for anyone to go through. Having to arrange and organise a funeral can be extremely overwhelming and distressing, even without the added restrictions and rules which were put in place as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Funerals and Covid-19

Funeral services were one of the many services which were faced with drastic changes as Government policies adapted to allow for UK lockdowns and then for social distancing to help lower the risk of spreading coronavirus.

These restrictions impacted how and by whom the deceased could be cared for, how funeral directors could communicate with bereaved families and what the options were for gathering for funerals, mourning, and memorialising activities.

Understandably, this disruption caused much distress as people weren’t able to mourn in the way they wanted to or the way they expected to. With limitations of up to 15 people in attendance at a funeral during the height of the pandemic, this was then adjusted to 30 people and gradually increased over time.

Right now, there is no longer a legal requirement for people with Covid-19 to isolate, therefore, there is no longer a restriction on how many people can attend a funeral.

When Covid-19 first started to impact funeral services, families who lost their loved ones during this time had to deal with unprecedented challenges. They were unable to say goodbye to their friends and family, unable to have loved ones support them during these funeral services, and even unable to find a permanent resting place for their loved one.

There was the added challenge of an increase in deaths at this time which meant many funeral services were postponed or took much longer than usual to organise, putting even more stress on the grieving families.

With less people around to support those grieving, it became more important than ever to pick up the phone, arrange a video call or do anything possible to help the people in need. For anyone who is organising or attending a funeral, you may want to follow some guidelines to help alleviate any risk of spreading Covid-19 as it’s still important to protect yourself and others from this virus.

Particularly at funerals, the risk of contracting Covid-19 can be higher because of increased contact between grieving loved ones and meeting others in enclosed spaces.

Government Guidelines

To reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19 at funerals, it can be helpful to ensure there’s good ventilation, meet outside where possible, wear face coverings in crowded and enclosed spaces, wash your hands regularly, and follow the ‘Catch it, Bin it, Kill it advice.

According to government guidelines, if you do have a positive Covid-19 test, you’re no longer legally required to self-isolate, however, if there are vulnerable people attending the funeral, you may want to reconsider going if you feel as though the risk is too high.

If you’re experiencing symptoms of Covid-19, you should order a PCR test and follow guidance to stay at home whilst you await your results. If you do test positive for Covid-19 you can infect other people from 2 days before your symptoms start and for up to 10 days afterwards. Even if you have mild or no symptoms at all, you can still pass the virus on to others.

If you’ve tested positive for Covid-19 and have a funeral to attend, it’s understandable that you’ll want to pay your respects as these are very meaningful events. If you need to leave your home to attend a funeral or a commemorative event, then there are steps that you can take to help reduce the likelihood of passing the virus on to others.

Government guidance advises that you wear a well-fitting face covering with multiple layers, avoid close contact with anyone who you know is at higher risk of becoming very unwell if they contract Covid-19, avoid crowds during the funeral or commemorative event in addition to anywhere that’s poorly ventilated, try to limit close contact with other people outside your household and at least two metres apart, and finally, be very vigilant with your hygiene by ensuring your hands are sanitised.

There is longer a maximum number of attendees at funerals, however, the NHS continues to face overwhelming pressure so recommend arrange a funeral to take place as soon as possible.

Arranging a Funeral

As a result of the impact Covid-19 has had on funeral services when now arranging a funeral, there are more alternative arrangements to consider than there were before.

As people adapted during Covid-19, so did the funeral industry. Many venues can now accommodate a live streaming facility or allow video recording to potentially help minimise the number of attendees.

Many people have begun organising times to meet online to share their stories and memories of their lost loved ones and other people have taken to holding memorial services outside to limit the amount of people in an enclosed space.

Some people have sent in music, poems, or readings for the funeral, whilst others have recorded personal messages to be played at the funeral if they can’t be there themselves.

Other ideas are to light a candle or lay flowers on someone’s behalf, read out the names of those who couldn’t attend, and organise an additional gathering at a later date when more people can be together to remember the bereaved. All of these are good alternative options to help reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19.

Similarly, to the funeral service itself, there is no longer a restriction on the number of attendees for commemorative services after the funeral such as a wake. The number of people who attend is instead determined by the capacity of the venue or the outdoor space which can comfortably accommodate social distancing.

To find out more about our funeral services available at Kenna and Turner or for any advice, contact us today on 0151 638 4444.