Covid funeral rules: The coronavirus protocols the Royal Family will have to follow today


The Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral today will be a dialled down affair owing to the coronavirus restrictions currently in place. Buckingham Palace has confirmed that the funeral is to abide by current guidelines around organised events that allow just 30 attendees to be present. There will also be decidedly less fanfare accompanying the funeral proceedings.

From April 12, the number permitted to attend religious, belief-based or commemorative events following a person’s death, such as stone setting ceremonies, the scattering of ashes or a wake, has increased to up to 15 people.

The actual number of people able to attend will depend on how many people can be safely accommodated within the venue with social distancing, and where the funeral venue manager or event organiser has carried out a risk assessment and taken all reasonable measures to limit the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

In some cases, this may be fewer than 30 people.

Commemorative events must have no more than 15 people attending. This limit applies both indoors and outdoors and does not include anyone working at the event.

When attending an event, you should remain socially distanced from anyone outside your household or support bubble.

The Government has also issued guidelines on how to behave at organised events, such as funerals.

According to the NHS, you should wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue and throw away the tissue safely, the guidelines state.

If you do not have a tissue, use the crook of your elbow (not hands) to cough or sneeze into, it says.

Other rules include:

  • Wear a face covering, as required by law when attending indoor places of worship, crematoriums and burial ground chapels unless you are exempt for health, disability or other reasons. You should also wear a face covering in other enclosed public spaces where social distancing may be difficult and where you may come into contact with people you do not normally meet. There is additional guidance on the use of face coverings
  • If the event is taking place indoors, avoid singing, shouting, chanting and raising your voice because this may increase the risk of airborne transmission of the virus. If the event is taking place outdoors, you may join in with singing.

What time is the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral today and where can I watch it?

It will be broadcast across radio and TV on the BBC. ITV’s coverage starts at 1.15pm.

It will also be shown on Sky One from 2.45pm. Sky News’ coverage begins at 12.30pm.


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