Question (Sir John Hayes):
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether COVID-19 regulations pertaining to funeral services will be eased before 21 June 2021.
Answer (Kit Malthouse):
The ‘COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021’ provides a roadmap out of the current lockdown in England. The design of the roadmap has been informed by the latest scientific evidence and seeks a balance between our key social and economic priorities, whilst preserving the health and safety of the country. The scientific evidence shows that opening too early or too quickly risks a further lockdown. The approach focuses on data, not dates. Each step has a “no earlier than” date, five weeks later than the previous step, to allow time to assess the impact of the previous step and provide a week’s notice before changes occur.
Funerals can continue to take place with up to 30 mourners in attendance. Anyone working is not included. People should socially distance themselves from others outside their household or support bubble (if eligible). Religious, belief-based or commemorative events linked to a person’s death, such as stone setting ceremonies, the scattering of ashes or a wake, can also continue with up to 6 people in attendance.
At Step 2 (no earlier than 12 April), wakes will be permitted for up to 15 people.
From Step 3 (no earlier than 17 May), 30 people can attend a wake in line with all life events at this stage.
Ahead of Step 4 (no earlier than 21 June), the Government will launch the Events Research Programme, to consider how and when restrictions can be lifted from large events including funerals and wakes. Subject to the outcomes of the review, we hope to be able to lift restrictions.