England: Updated Guidance

17th December 2021 | COVID-19 Guidance

Are face coverings a legal requirement at funerals?

In England, face coverings are required by law in most indoor public places and on public transport.

This means that in most settings where a funeral is likely to take place, face coverings are required by law. These include places of worship, community centres, crematoria and burial ground chapels. A full list of in-scope and exempt settings is available here.

There are no exemptions for funerals.

What about commemorative events?

Face coverings are not required in hospitality venues where food and drink are consumed (such as pubs, caf├ęs and restaurants).

Where a premise or part of a premise is being used for an event where the main activities include eating or drinking, face coverings are not required. This means some commemorative events may be exempt because eating and drinking is taking place.

When taking place in an in-scope setting, face coverings must be worn in communal areas of the premises not being used for the event, such as in a hotel lobby when an event is taking place in a conference room.

What part would a funeral organiser play in enforcing face coverings in these settings?

Settings in which face coverings are required must display signage or take other measures to ensure customers are aware of the requirement to wear a face-covering on their premises where there is no applicable exemption or reasonable excuse.

The police and police community support officers can enforce compliance if members of the public do not comply with this law without a reasonable excuse. Local authority enforcement officers can also use their enforcement powers against businesses for failing to display appropriate signage or breaching the prohibition against preventing someone from wearing a face covering.

Organisers shouldn’t prevent customers or staff from wearing a face covering. It is against the law to prevent someone from wearing a face-covering in a listed setting.

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