Limits on number of people at funerals to be removed as part of roadmap Step 3 out of covid restrictions

Funeral services

Limits on the number of people who can attend a funeral will be removed as part of Step 3 of the roadmap, to take place from 17 May at the earliest.

Currently only 30 people are able to attend services for their loved ones. But the Prime Minister says the current data supports the dates at which restrictions will next be eased.

The number of people who can attend a funeral will now be determined by how many people the venue, such as the relevant place of worship or funeral home, can safely accommodate with social distancing. This includes both indoor and outdoor venues. Capacities of venues will vary, but many will allow significantly more than 30 people to attend.

Limits for other life or commemorative events at Step 3, such as weddings and wakes, are expected to remain as set out in the roadmap.

Following Step 2 on 12 April, hospital admissions and cases of severe illness are in line with modelling provided by scientific experts, both when the roadmap was first published and ahead of Step 2.

Communities Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said: “The British people have made huge sacrifices throughout the pandemic to protect the NHS and save lives, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the deeply painful restrictions on the numbers attending funerals.

“Losing a loved one has been incredibly hard during the pandemic and I am pleased we are now in a position, thanks to everyone’s continued efforts and the rollout of the vaccine, to remove these limits and allow more friends and family to come together and pay their respects.

“I look forward to working with faith leaders responsible for places of worship, and those who manage venues such as funeral homes, to introduce the new arrangements in a way that continues to keep people safe.”

Step 3 is expected to mean most legal restrictions on meeting others outdoors will be lifted – although gatherings of over 30 people will remain illegal. Indoors, the Rule of 6 or 2 households will apply but will be kept under review.

Updated advice on social distancing between friends and family, including hugging, is expected.

Indoor hospitality will reopen although customers will have to order, eat and drink while seated.

Other indoor locations to open up in Step 3 include indoor entertainment venues such as cinemas and children’s play areas; the rest of the accommodation sector, including hotels, hostels and B&Bs; and indoor adult group sports and exercise classes.

The government will also allow some larger performances and sporting events in indoor venues with a capacity of 1,000 people or half-full (whichever is a lower number), and in outdoor venues with a capacity of 4,000 people or half-full (whichever is a lower number). In the largest outdoor seated venues, where crowds can be spread out, up to 10,000 people will be able to attend (or a quarter-full, whichever is lower).

The government will also complete a review of social distancing and other long-term measures that have been put in place to cut transmission.

This will inform decisions on the timing and circumstances under which the rules on 1 metre plus, the wearing of face coverings and other measures may be lifted. This will be completed before step 4, expected on June 21 when the government hopes to be in a position to remove all legal limits on social contact.


  1. Is it just me I am totally confused re lifting lockdown, thousand can go to music /football matches/other sport venues yet I cannot go to see my husband in his carehome without testing and ppe!!!!!!!! What is going on? oh and yes I could take him out (if he was able to walk) and go to different places and take him back to care home. I dont know who are making these rules but I wish they would get into the real world re care homes

  2. I thought social distancing was being scrapped in the next step. According to many reports today.

    • Government say “Updated advice on social distancing between friends and family, including hugging,” is expected. Social distancing is due to be scrapped from step 4 (June 21) along with all remaining legal restrictions (masks might stay for a bit longer but that is speculation)

  3. The unfair treatment of hospitality with draconian Rules imposed and implemented with little warning are illogical and idiotic. Pubs and eateries were closed on 4th November last year and the pandemic surged proving it was difficult to blame them. However, they will be the last to fully reopen . The idea that it is fine to drink inside a tent or freeze in April to be able to have a meal or drink but not inside a venue that has screens, loos, and has spent masses to make it Covid safe is ludicrous . How can publicans have any trust in Government to be able to fully restock when they know they can be shut down again with little or no warning. Very saddened as many businesses will never recover.

    • The whole idea is to prevent 100,000s more lives being lost, and far, far more lives disrupted by chronic long covid.
      It is well understood that CV spreads 20 times more rapidly indoors than out. That’s why, in gradually opening up, outside venues were first.
      Inside hospitality will open next, *if* the infection rates stay low.
      Lockdown is not a brilliant idea, but it’s the best of a bad job, unless we want a situation like Brazil or India (or Turkey, Cyprus or France, for that matter)

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