Guidance for Arranging a Covid-19 Funeral

Given the current Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, we recognise that this is an especially difficult time for our clients and the bereaved.

The well-being of all those who interact with our teams and our funeral homes remains our key concern, along with continuing to provide the highest standards to deceased people in our care.

We understand that you may have questions regarding the impact to your funeral arrangements and the services we provide. Below, we provide guidance to Frequently Asked Questions about arranging a funeral during the Covid-19 pandemic, which we hope will be helpful to you at this time.

We recognise how unfortunate but also how necessary the new government guidance is.

We remain committed to doing everything we possibly can to support you.

Please call your local funeral home for help and advice on arranging a Covid-19 funeral. Our telephone service is available 24 hours, 7 days a week. We are here to help.

Arranging a funeral
Attending a funeral
Caring for and visiting the deceased
Payment for our services
Prepaid funeral plans
Expert advice
24-hour telephone support

Arranging a funeral

Can funerals still take place?

Yes. Funerals can still be arranged and are still taking place. If you are self-isolating, we have procedures in place that will ensure we can still support you.

The government is clear that funerals must continue without delay. Those in the funeral profession are classed as key workers and we remain able to provide you with our highest standards of care and support at this time. If you need to arrange a funeral.

How should I get in touch with you if I need your services?

Some of our branches may be providing an appointment-only service. It is essential that you call us before you visit any of our premises, so that we can provide you with the most appropriate guidance regarding next steps.

Are funeral homes open or are they required to close?

Most of our funeral homes remain open. Funeral homes are not required to close. However, before any visit to our premises, please call us so that we can provide you with the most appropriate guidance and help.

If your local funeral home is unoccupied due to team member absence, our services can still be provided through our network of neighboring funeral homes who offer the same high service standards at this time. We can also support you remotely to carry out as much of the funeral arrangement as possible over the telephone, email and via postal services.

Are you still able to come to my home to carry out funeral arrangements?

Given the current requirements around social distancing and to help keep our funeral homes open at this time, we regret that we are currently unable to carry out funeral arrangements at your home. We can still provide all the support you may need over the telephone, via email address and post.

How do I arrange a funeral if I am self-isolating or social distancing?

We will support you in arranging the funeral as much as possible by carrying out the majority of the arrangement over the telephone, email and via postal services.

If you are not self-isolating and you do visit our premises, we will maintain a two metre distance with you at all times, in order to follow government guidelines regarding physical contact and social distancing.

If I do arrange an appointment to visit your premises, is there a limit on the amount of people who can visit?

Yes. We are limiting visitors to our premises to a maximum of two people at any one time. It is therefore vital you call us before visiting so we can co-ordinate any visits to our premises.

Will you still be offering limousines?

In order to support social distancing measures, we are regrettably unable to provide limousines for funerals at this time. We very much appreciate that this may be disappointing, and we would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Are there other considerations around transport to/from the funeral I need to be aware of?

Yes. Only those people who are in the same household should travel together in the same vehicle. This is to ensure wider social distancing requirements are maintained.

Are there any delays relating to carrying out funerals?

All funeral providers are being encouraged to avoid delays to funeral services. It may be the case that availability of services will become even more constrained over time. We will therefore encourage you to arrange the funeral as soon as practically possible. We understand how difficult this may be for you and we will work with you at all times to support you.

Are there any other considerations to be aware of if I visit your premises?

Please do not visit our premises if you are required to self-isolate in line with wider government guidelines e.g. you are showing symptoms of Covid-19 or you share a household with someone who has symptoms of Covid-19. Please call us instead.

In line with wider government advice, for all those who do visit our premises, we would encourage usage of our washroom facilities for handwashing upon entering and exiting the building, and we would encourage the use of our supplies of such things as tissues and hand sanitisers when required.

Will donation facilities be available at the funeral home?

In order to minimise the need to handle monies and collection boxes at this time, we are unable to take donations at funerals and we are not accepting cash donations at our homes.

We do, however, have an online donation facility via our charity partner, MuchLoved. The MuchLoved service offers clients and mourners a way to leave messages and donations online for a wide range of UK charities.

The service can be set up by any of our Funeral Arrangers and the online link can be shared with family and friends.

Donations are sent directly to the nominated charity with a small administration fee is deducted by MuchLoved.

Can I still have an obituary and publish details about the funeral?

Obituaries are still available. However, we would please request that the day and time of the funeral are not advertised in the public domain. This is in order to limit the numbers of potentially unexpected guests arriving at the funeral service, which in turn may prevent us from practising social distancing measures.

Our free online memorial service offered through a charity called MuchLoved is available and the MuchLoved service offers clients and mourners a way to leave messages, donations, as well as having the option for third party video streaming links to be added, so that those who cannot attend the funeral are still able to be involved in the day.

The service can be set up by any of our Funeral Arrangers and the online link can be shared with family and friends.

Attending a funeral

Are there restrictions on the numbers of people attending funerals at this time?

The government is clear that funerals must be allowed to continue. Mourners must be permitted at services and a celebrant can attend the service, should the bereaved request this.

It is with regret, but is understandable, that anyone showing symptoms of Covid-19 should not attend any funeral service in order to reduce the risk of spreading. We will work with you to establish the possible ways these mourners can still participate in the service, for example, through remote viewing.

In order to carry out social distancing measures, most crematoria, cemeteries, and other funeral service locations have imposed limits on the number of mourners allowed to attend at this time. We will let you know the latest advice for the specific funeral location you have chosen.

In relation to the number of mourners who can attend a funeral, the government guidance by geography is below:

England & Wales

Only the following should attend funeral services:

  • Members of the deceased person’s household
  • Close family members of the deceased

If the deceased has neither household nor close family members in attendance, then it is possible for close friends to attend.

The following can still attend funeral services:

  • Vulnerable groups (such as those who are pregnant, those over 70 and those with an underlying health condition)
  • Those who are extremely vulnerable and currently shielding
  • Individuals who are self-isolating for 14 days (due to someone in their household being unwell with symptoms of Covid-19)

We will work with you to ensure additional precautions for those mourners who may belong to the above groups, in order to protect them and minimise risk to others. For example, this may include preventing extremely vulnerable mourners attending should an individual in self-isolation also wish to attend the funeral, and vice-versa.

Northern Ireland

As per England & Wales, with the additional guidance that it is recommended that a maximum of 10 mourners attend.


As per England & Wales, however, the Scottish guidance requests that higher risk groups seriously consider whether they should attend a funeral in person. This is also the case for those mourners who may be in a household with someone who has Covid-19 symptoms.

Please also be aware of the below guidance for all parts of the UK:

  • All mourners should follow the advice on social distancing when travelling to and from the funeral gathering. This includes whilst travelling in any vehicle to/from the service.
  • At the service, all mourners must be able to practice social distancing guidelines and keep a minimum of 2 metres apart (except for those mourners who live in the same household). Your Funeral Director will assist you on the day.

We will work closely with you to understand the mourners you envisage attending the service and we will discuss the size of the venues for your services, so that we can support you with requirements around social distancing.

Can I view funeral services remotely if I am unable to attend the funeral itself?

We will advise you of the options available to you at this time regarding remote viewing of funeral services.

Are there any considerations relating to burial services and cremations?

Both burial services and cremations are available at this time. Places of worship, cemeteries, crematoriums and other funeral venues may be imposing restrictions locally on the numbers of mourners allowed to attend a service, along with potential changes to opening hours and service lengths and local practices. Your local funeral home will guide you at all times.

How do I maintain social distance at a funeral?

Please follow the requirements above regarding who can attend a funeral.

In addition, we would ask all mourners attending a funeral to practice the government’s guidelines relating to social distancing. This requires maintaining a minimum two-metre distance at all times between others not in your household.

We will work closely with you to understand the number of mourners you envisage attending the service and the size of the venues for your services, so that we can support requirements around social distancing. Your Funeral Director will support you on the day and have the latest guidelines on attending a funeral during the coronavirus pandemic.

Caring for and visiting the deceased

Can I still visit my loved one in a chapel of rest during the pandemic?

We will endeavour to support your wishes concerning viewing and spending time with the deceased. Under Public Health England guidelines, it is still possible to view a deceased who is suspected or confirmed to have been infected with Covid-19. Embalming is also permitted. Please speak to your local funeral home who will give you all the guidance you need.

Are there any differences in relation to hygiene standards at this time?

We would like to reassure all our clients that Funeral Partners already has rigorous hygiene controls in place when it comes to cleaning and disinfecting routines.

We have extremely high standards when it comes to handling any deceased person in our care, and this includes any deceased who may have died with an infection.

These controls include the use of specialised health and safety equipment, along with specific ways of working so that we are able to maintain clinical levels of hygiene and safe working environments.

In addition, we have provided our team members with additional guidance at this time relating specifically to cleaning and disinfecting routines and taking additional Covid-19 pandemic precautions.

Payment for our services

Are there any considerations relating to payment for your services?

We recognise that this may be a very difficult time when it comes to financial circumstances. Please be assured we will be as flexible as we can to support your circumstances. Funeral Partners has a wide range of products and services available to accommodate different requirements. We are also able to guide you carefully on the government support that may be available for funeral services.

In addition, we work with a third party called Funeral Safe who may be able to provide you with credit facilities in order to cover the costs of funeral services over a period of 12 months to 48 months. Funeral safe can be contacted on 0330 002 0875 and applications for credit can be made online at

Prepaid funeral plans

Can I still purchase prepaid funeral plans at this time?

Yes. Funeral Partners offer a funeral plan called Choice. Choice funeral plans can be purchased online at or by calling 01803 298 243.

Alternatively, please contact your local funeral home who can assist you in purchasing a prepaid funeral plan over the telephone.

If there are restrictions on funeral services, how does this impact my funeral plan?

We will give you the specific guidance you need in relation to any elements that may be impacted. Any funeral service restrictions are currently temporary, and we do not yet know the impact on future funerals.

If any restrictions will impact a current funeral being arranged using a prepaid funeral plan, we will discuss this with you at the time of the arrangement.

Expert advice

Funeral Partners is following all the latest guidance from the UK government and devolved administrations as well as health agencies. We are also involved in supporting local resilience forums and other groups which are working on specific Coronavirus-related activities.

In addition, Funeral Partners is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) and Irish Association of Funeral Directors (IAFD). Representatives of both the NAFD and IAFD are continuing to liaise directly with government authorities in order to ensure that all members (including Funeral Partners) adhere to the latest government advice to support the safe management of funerals.

24-hour telephone support

We recognise that this is an unprecedented time and that some of our guidance may be particularly unfortunate at what is already an extremely challenging time for our clients.

We remain available to support you at any time with any questions or queries you may have. Please call your local funeral home at any time.

Our telephone support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week