Mourners should keep two metres apart at funerals being held in Gedling borough and only members of the same household and close family should attend, according to new guidance issued by the Government’s health agency.
Public Health England (PHE) said on Tuesday that funerals must be conducted in a manner consistent with social distancing principles to avoid the further spread of Covid-19.
It also said that relatives should avoid “close contact” with anyone who has died with symptoms of the virus.
Gatherings of more than two people and all public events including weddings have been banned since March 23 in a bid to contain coronavirus, but funerals were exempt.
Anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 should not attend funerals, PHE said in advice published on the Government’s website.
It added there was a “small but real risk” of the transmission of the virus from the body of the deceased.
PHE said mourners are strongly advised against any “rituals or practices that bring them into close contact with the body of a person who has died from or with symptoms of coronavirus Covid-19″.
It is common in Catholic countries to hold wakes with the deceased’s body in the room the day before burial or cremation.
Other cultures take part in the washing of their late relatives.
PHE said any close contact with the dead should only be carried out using proper personal protective equipment (PPE).