Funerals | New rules for coming out of lockdown in England

On 22 February, the PM Boris Johnson unveiled plans to ease lockdown restrictions in England. Here’s how the new rules will impact on families planning and attending funerals between now and the end of June 2021.


Humanist funeral

Since the first lockdown, the rules on attending funerals have kept changing – and there are more changes ahead in England as lockdown restrictions begin to ease.

Planning a funeral can be stressful at any time, but the additional rules and safety measures have made the planning process even more complicated.

We’ve summarised all the key dates and information from the government announcement, so it’s one less thing for you to worry about.

Until 29 March

There will be no immediate changes to the rules on funeral attendance. Funerals of up to 30 people will continue to be allowed (depending on the size of the crematorium and space needed for social distancing).

Wakes are not allowed.

Step 1: From 29 March

There will be no immediate changes. Funerals of up to 30 people will continue to be allowed.

If all is going well, wakes in public premises will be allowed, with up to six attendees.

Wakes in private homes will not be allowed.

Step 2: From 12 April

No changes from Step 1: funerals will continue to have a maximum of 30 attendees.

If all is going well, commemorative events, including wakes, will be able to take place with up to 15 attendees (in premises that are permitted to open).

Step 3: From 17 May

No changes from Step 1: funerals will continue to have a maximum of 30 attendees.

If all is going well, commemorative events, including wakes, will be able to take place with up to 30 attendees (in premises that are permitted to open).

Step 4: From 21 June

Subject to the outcome of the Events Research Programme (a piece of research to test reopening large events), all limits will be removed on attendance at funerals and wakes.


Simplifying the planning process

Whatever stage the lockdown is at, we hope our online guides will help to simplify the funeral planning process for you — and give you ideas about what you might like to include in the ceremony:

Further information

Please visit our frequently asked questions page or watch this short video:  A humanist funeral.

Find a celebrant

To discuss a funeral or memorial ceremony, you can find a celebrant near you.

Non-religious funerals

A humanist funeral ceremony is a celebration of life and a personal goodbye.

Unique ceremonies

We're all different and our funerals should be too. Find interesting ways to create a unique ceremony.

Find a funeral celebrant

Your humanist celebrant will write a unique script to honour the life of your loved one.