Funeral Industry News
Face Coverings Made Compulsory At Funeral Services
We have previously stated in our funeral services guidance that funeral service attendees should seriously consider wearing a face covering, particularly if in an enclosed space.
From 8 August, wearing a face covering at an indoor funeral service will no longer be advised, it will be compulsory. Everyone attending an indoor funeral service will be required by law to wear a face covering. This includes funeral services in crematoriums, funeral directors’ premises and places of worship. The cap on numbers of attendees at indoor and outdoor funeral services remains at no more than 20 people, and less than 20 people if the 2m physical distancing rules are not able to be adhered to.
There are some exceptions to wearing a face covering at a funeral service. If you are the person leading the funeral service, or if you are providing the eulogy, you can remove your face covering, but you must instead remain at least 2 meters away from others or have a protective screen between you and others.
If it is not possible for the person leading the funeral service or providing the eulogy to remain at least 2 metres away from others or to use a protective screen, they must wear a face covering.
Physical distancing, hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene are the most important and effective measures we can all take to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The wearing of face coverings must not be used as an alternative or substitute to any of these other critical precautions.
However, there is evidence that face coverings can add additional protection, especially in crowded and less well ventilated spaces, and where 2m physical distancing is not possible. In indoor places, where physical distancing is difficult and where there is a risk of close contact with multiple people who are not members of your household, you are expected to wear a face covering.
We recognise that for some wearing a face covering while grieving may be uncomfortable. It is ok for someone to remove their face covering temporarily to blow their nose or wipe their eyes. In these circumstances, it is important to maintain 2 metres distance from others.
Our guidance will soon be updated to reflect these new changes that come into effect on 8 August.
A link to the press release about mandatory face coverings is available here.