Funerals: Coronavirus

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 7th April 2020.

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Photo of Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that there is timely, accessible advice available to religious communities concerning rules relating to (1) funeral services, (2) burials, and (3) cremations, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo of Baroness Bloomfield of Hinton Waldrist Baroness Bloomfield of Hinton Waldrist Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)

The government issued guidance on closure of business and venues on 23 March: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close-guidance. This sets out that funerals may continue to take place in places of worship and crematoria. On 31 March, Public Health England (PHE) published further guidance to ensure funerals are conducted safely, consistent with social distancing principles: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-advice-for-safe-funerals-after-discussions-with-faith-leaders. Faith leaders were consulted and worked with PHE to ensure that communities, the funeral industry and the NHS are protected.

Government is working with partners, including leaders and members of faith and belief communities, to communicate relevant guidance and to understand the issues faith communities are facing at this difficult time. We continue to value the input of our faith and belief communities.

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