Updated May 2021
The government has announced that from Monday 17th May, the limit on people attending funerals will be lifted. However, they have also announced that social distancing must still be respected which means that each venue will have to assess their individual space and decide on a limit which will vary from place to place. We will update the numbers below as we hear.
It will still be compulsory to wear face coverings in any indoor venue where a funeral is taking place, except in case of exemptions. Memorial events such as interments and scatterings of ashes can now take place with up to 15 people attending.
Since the beginning of the pandemic we have managed to adapt to the restrictions placed on funerals to provide smaller but still meaningful ceremonies. We have also found that families we have worked with have generally adapted well and have sometimes even preferred the intimacy of only having immediate family members present, with the intention of holding a more inclusive get together at a later and safer time, also in the knowledge that their grief will be a little less raw. The webcast facilities to live stream funerals at crematoria have been used widely and have been well received by those who are unable to attend the service.
Even the smaller numbers of mourners allowed at each service still mean that there could be hundreds of people moving through a crematorium chapel in one day, and it’s very difficult to clean effectively between each service. The requirement to wear face coverings will mitigate the risks but we would recommend choosing the earlier time slots in the day. This might be less convenient, but it will be a lot safer as it ensures that you will be one of the first groups people to sit on the seats after a more thorough clean of the evening before, therefore minimising the risks as much as possible. This will not suit everybody, and we can work with you to find the most convenient time for you.
As we are a ‘front-line’ service, we are currently now operating on an appointment only basis in order to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. We can offer phone/zoom/skype assistance to anyone who prefer to stay at home, or we can visit you in your home (or garden, weather permitting), or we can arrange visits to our premises for small groups.
All of the Crematoria below have webcasting facilities available which means that you can arrange for other friends and family members to watch the service remotely. Fees differ from site to site but are always below £100.
Please note that singing and touching the coffin are still not allowed in order to limit the spread of the virus. It is also discouraged to publish obituary notices with details of funerals which might lead to well meaning friends or neighbours arriving unannounced at the crematorium.
Wakes are now only permitted for up to 15 people at Covid Secure locations. Travel is permitted for funerals and mourners may stay overnight in hotels, although they might require a letter from your funeral director to confirm the need for your stay.
Most crematoria are now allowing up to 30 mourners, however this is dependent on the space they have to allow social distancing – please refer to numbers below or their individual websites for more detailed updates.
Vinters Park – 30 people
Charing – 29 people
Medway – 30 people
Garden of England (Bobbing) – 30 people
Thames View, Gravesend – 30 people
Barham – 23 people
Hawkinge – 30 people
Kent and Sussex – 22 people or 30 people sitting in household groups
Churches have also now reopened for funerals but each one is working at it’s own discretion for numbers of mourners up to the limit of 30 people, and other restrictions, depending on the size of the Church and the individual Minister’s situation. Please ask us and we will find this out for you on a case by case basis. Please see the link below for detailed information on funerals in churches during COVID-19:
Please refer to the current government restrictions on funerals for more information:
If you have any questions about coronavirus/COVID-19 and funerals, or any advice or guidance, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us – we are here to help 24/7.
by calling 01622 746688, 01233 650746 or by emailing
This blog documents all sorts of ideas to honour the person who has died during these impossible times, hopefully you will find something that resonates with you. Please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us by phone or email so that we can discuss options with you and help you find a way forward that works for you.
Please read our guest blog post on the Good Funeral Guide Website below on we can redefine how we actually say goodbye to our loved ones to help us cope with these difficult decisions: