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30 person limit on mourners at funerals lifted in change to lockdown roadmap



The legal limit of 30 mourners at funerals will be scrapped from 17 May under a major change to the roadmap out of lockdown in England, the government has announced.

Venues will be allowed to set their own limits on how many people can attend while maintaining “one metre plus” social distancing rules. Under the original roadmap published in February, the 30-person limit was due to remain in place for funerals until 21 June.

But ministers have come under pressure over the inability of large numbers of family and friends to gather to mourn loved ones – highlighted by the funeral service for Prince Philip last month.

The social distancing rule will be scrapped altogether for funerals from 21 June under the final stage of the roadmap out of lockdown.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said the easing of restrictions for funerals covered both indoor and outdoor settings.

Organisers must continue to be Covid-secure and follow social distancing rules.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick 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.”

Limits for weddings, receptions, christenings, bar mitzvahs and other significant ceremonies will remain at 30 from 17 May, as set out in the original roadmap.

The 17 May stage will allow up to six people or two households to meet indoors. Indoor hospitality, entertainment venues such as cinemas and soft play areas, the rest of the accommodation sector, and indoor adult group sports and exercise classes will also reopen.

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