Funeral Industry News

[Updated: 24/04/2020] Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions) (Scotland) Regulations 2020

April 8, 2020 by No Comments | Category Burial authorities, Cremation authorities, Funeral directors, Funeral services, Regulations

These Regulations set out temporary restrictions on the opening to the public of crematoriums and also restrictions around funeral services.

The Scottish Government will notify you when these restrictions are lifted.

Closure of crematoriums to the public

The Regulations require crematoriums to close to members of the public. The exception of this closure to members of the public is when a funeral service is being held.

Where a funeral service is being held at a crematorium, reasonable measures are to be taken to ensure that a distance of two metres is maintained between every person during the funeral (other than between two members of the same household, or a carer and the person who is assisted by the carer).

[Update: 24/04/2020] Following amendments to the Regulations that came into force on 21 April 2020, it is no longer required for crematorium gardens of remembrance, or burial grounds that are part of crematorium premises, to be closed to public access.

Public access to a garden of remembrance or burial ground within the crematorium premises is now permitted. As with burial authorities, this public access remains at the discretion of the cremation authority.

Crematorium buildings are still required to be closed to public access, except for the holding of a funeral service.

Funeral services

The Regulations provide that except to the extent that a person has a reasonable excuse, no person may leave the place where they are living. The Regulations set out that it is a reasonable excuse for the following people to attend a funeral service:

  • members of the deceased’s household;
  • close family members of the deceased; or
  • if no-one in the above two categories is attending, a friend of the deceased.

Adherence to these Regulations and wider NHS Inform advice on social distancing is important to help stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) amongst communities.

In line with wider public health advice, in person attendance of funeral services should be kept to the minimum number of people possible.

[Update: 24/04/2020] Updated guidance on funeral services has been published on the Scottish Government website.