SAYING goodbye to a loved one has become more difficult with restrictions on funerals since the coronavirus pandemic began.
With the number of new cases in the UK decreasing the Government has eased restrictions surrounding funerals. But what are the new rules and how many people can attend funerals? Here is everything we know…
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How many people are allowed to attend funerals?
The government eased its guidance on funerals in England, upping the numbers that can attend services from 10 to 30 people.
The new guidance from Public Health England has also widened the groups that can attend a service.
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.
The new guidance now permits the family's wider circle including friends and other family members.
When at funerals, mourners must observe the social distancing guidelines.
According to Public Health England: "Mourners should avoid any direct face to face or physical contact, for example hugging each other unless they are part of the same household."
What are the coronavirus rules on social gatherings?
Since June 19, the UK's Covid-19 alert has been at level three.
This means that the virus is considered to be in general circulation but the transmission is no longer high or rising exponentially.
As a result, the Government is continuing to ease restrictions including the number of people who can meet in social gatherings.
On July 4, non-essential businesses and venues were allowed to reopen including restaurants, pubs, cinemas and hotels.
People are now able to meet in groups of up to two households anywhere or in groups of six including people from different households outdoors.
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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