FINAL farewells are hard enough – but coronavirus restrictions have made attending funerals even more difficult.
And the updated rules mean some could miss out saying goodbye to their loved ones following an increase in covid cases.
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How many people are allowed to attend funerals?
The government's current guidance on funerals in England is that up to 30 people are allowed to gather for services outdoors.
During the gathering, you must remain socially distant from anyone that is not a part of your household or support bubble.
Meanwhile, funerals being held inside must only be attended by people from a maximum of two households.
One household can include people from more than one home as part of a support bubble.
For participation in breaching the rules, you could receive a fine of £100 – doubling for each subsequent offence up to £3,200.
During the height of the pandemic, priority for those wishing to attend funerals was only given to those who were from the same household and the immediate family of the deceased.
What are the coronavirus rules on social gatherings?
Another rise in coronavirus cases has seen the Government restrict gatherings once again.
On July 4, non-essential businesses and venues were allowed to reopen including restaurants, pubs, cinemas and hotels, allowing for more social interaction.
But this will be restricted once again from September 14 as gatherings for more than six people will be considered illegal indoors or outdoors.
The six people can be from different households – with fines in place for any flouters.
There are some exemptions to this including schools, workplaces or Covid-secure weddings, funerals and organised team sports – but these gatherings must still remain at a limit of 30 people.
Do funeral directors need to wear PPE?
Public Health England has warned officials such as the staff of mortuaries and funeral directors of the continued risk of infection from dead bodies.
It says: "Those handling bodies should be aware that there is likely to be a continuing risk infection from the body fluids and tissue of cases where coronavirus (SARS-CoV2) infection is identified."
As a result, officials have been advised to wear personal protective equipment such as plastic aprons, disposable gloves and eye protection when dealing with someone who has died as a result of coronavirus.
Are burials being live streamed for family and friends who can't attend?
According to The Church of England's guidance for clergy when it comes to funeral services, family and friends of the deceased who cannot attend funerals should be engaged either by telephone or online.
The Church of England has released guidance in order to ensure funeral services can go ahead in a safe manner.
In the guidance, it is suggested that funerals can be live streamed from the graveside to loved ones who are not able to attend.
The Church of England encouraged people to get creative with streaming services.
Other institutions are encouraging the use of live streams at funerals as it limits the number of people who attend funerals.
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