The Government has announced that restrictions on the number of people attending funerals will be lifted on 17th May – a month earlier than expected.
Currently, only 30 mourners are permitted to attend funerals at churches and crematoriums across England, including here on the Isle of Wight. However, that number will be lifted in less than 2 weeks’ time – as long as the venue is COVID compliant.
It was initially planned that the restrictions on numbers would be lifted in the 4th step in the unlocking from lockdown, but with infections and hospitalizations plummeting Boris Johnson has taken the decision to bring forward the change to step 3 – and now faces pressure to make changes to other aspects of every day life.
Limits for other life or commemorative events, such as weddings and wakes, are expected to remain as set out in the roadmap.
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick MP has 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.
“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.
“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”.