Face coverings to be mandatory in funeral premises from 8 August

From Saturday (8 August), funeral directors’ premises and places of worship in England will no longer be exempt from the requirement to wear a face covering indoors, according to a Cabinet Office update from 31 July.

People also visiting funeral homes will be required by law to wear a face covering in these settings. 

The rules state that “visitors are expected to wear a face covering immediately before entering any of these settings and must keep it on” until they leave. However, it is not compulsory for employees in indoor settings to wear face coverings, according to the National Society of Allied Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF).

The Cabinet Office also recommends that “face coverings are worn in these settings now but this will not be mandatory until 8 August.

SAIF said: “You are also strongly encouraged to wear a face covering in other enclosed public spaces where social distancing may be difficult and where you come into contact with people you do not normally meet.”

SAIF advises members that the above guidance could mean that an increasing number of funeral service venues will require mourners to wear face coverings during services. 

It said: “A face covering is defined as “something which safely covers the nose and mouth. You can buy reusable or single-use face coverings. You may also use a scarf, bandana, religious garment or hand-made cloth covering but these must securely fit round the side of the face.”

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