From today’s Government briefing by Elizabeth Canavan, Assistant Secretary General, Department of the Taoiseach.
The Government’s critical services list issued on Saturday included funerals as one of those services.
The Government wants to ensure that families are able to bury their loved ones in a respectful manner while ensuring that all involved – mourners, funeral directors, celebrants and all involved in these services are protected from COVID-19.
The HSE has already provided guidance in this regard and further guidance is now being developed and will be published shortly.
In the meantime, I can confirm that immediate family members can still attend funeral services, burials and cremations, provided that social distancing rules are respected. This relates to all funerals, including those arising out of COVID-19 deaths.
While we know this is difficult, in general, numbers attending should not exceed 10 persons in places of worship and at the graveside but this may be restricted further in smaller enclosed places. Individual churches may also put in place restrictions which respond to specific local circumstances.
We are continuing to liaise with all stakeholders to protect the dignity of Irish funerals as we navigate this difficult period and we will review practices as necessary
We would encourage anybody effected by these issues to contact the range of bereavement and other support services that are available.