The National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) has urged funeral directors in Northern Ireland to not publish dates or times of funerals as it causes gatherings which directly violate Covid-19 regulations.
Under the current funeral restrictions placed by the government, a maximum of 25 people can meet, however pre and post-funeral gatherings are not permitted.
The remains of the deceased may be taken back to private homes, but wakes are not to be held and funeral services in private homes are currently not allowed.
Last week, the NAFD said it received several reports that funeral directors in Northern Ireland were placing details of when and where funerals were taking place online and/or in newspapers, which is against the legally enforceable guidance.
People were also reportedly holding funerals at home and using limousines, both of which are also currently prohibited.
The association revealed that after lobbying from the NAFD Northern Ireland executive, some media publications have now stopped printing details of funerals.
Additionally, at least one local authority has sent out reminder guidance to funeral directors, reminding them of what they are permitted to do. The police service of Northern Ireland have also reportedly been kept informed of alleged breaches.
The NAFD stated: “We urge all to act within the rules for the benefit, health and safety of themselves, their staff and their clients, and to help protect the reputation of the funeral profession. Please abide by the guidance, all of which can be found on this website in the advice for funeral directors section.
“Funeral firms breaching the rules may also find themselves subject to fixed penalty notices or a fine in court – and, in addition, NAFD members would face disciplinary action from the Association too.”