05 Oct 2022

What are the rules about funerals during the Covid-19 emergency?

What are the rules about funerals during the Covid-19 emergency?

What are the rules about funerals during the Covid-19 emergency?

Have you been confused by the changing measures and restrictions on funerals and everyday life during the Covid-19 emergency? We are here to provide clarity on one of our most precious customs; the Irish funeral.

Some usual features of the funeral have been removed temporarily or heavily restricted as per government guidelines and Irish funeral directors acting on those guidelines.

So what should you do if you have a bereavement during this difficult time?

After a bereavement, you should contact your preferred funeral director as soon as you can. During the Covid-19 pandemic, funeral directors will remain open as they are an essential service. Funeral directors and undertakers deal with the burial or cremation arrangements. Your funeral director will have the most up-to-date information and know the details of procedures during the pandemic.

Some traditional funeral customs will not be possible because of the restrictions in place during the COVID-19 emergency period. These include:

- Wakes at home
- Having an open casket in repose at the funeral home
- Washing the body
- Embalming

Close family members can still attend funeral services burials and cremation provided the social distancing rules are respected. This relates to all funerals, including those of people who have died of Covid-19. There should not be more than 10 people in a church or at the graveside.

Some churches are now not performing funerals in the church at all, especially parishes with older priests who are expected to cocoon under government guidelines.

The limit of 10 people could have to be reduced further in small spaces. If the deceased had no family, close friends may go to the funeral. 

People attending funerals are being told to avoid shaking hands or making personal contact with other people from different households. People can offer condolences through online condolence books being offered by most funeral directors. 

You can find out more on the Citizens Information website, 

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