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Limit on mourners at funerals to be lifted on May 17

Government has announced that the limit on the number of mourners who can attend funerals will be lifted in England from May 17.
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Limit on mourners at funerals to be lifted on May 17

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) said that the legal limit of 30 mourners will be removed as part of the next stage of lockdown easing.

From May 17, unless stated otherwise by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the capacity of funerals will be determined depending on how many people venues can safely accommodate while maintaining social distancing. 

This includes both indoor and outdoor venues and all organisers must continue to be Covid-secure and follow social distancing rules, it said.

While venue capacities will vary, many will allow "significantly" more than 30 people to attend, the MHCLG said.

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 other life or commemorative events are expected to remain as set out in the road map.

Under Step 3 of the road map up to 30 people will be able to attend weddings, receptions and wakes, as well as other types of significant life events.

Most social contact rules outside will also be lifted, although gatherings of more than 30 people will remain illegal.

Indoors, the rule of six or two households will apply, which will also be in place for hospitality as pubs, restaurants and cafes will be allowed to welcome people inside once again. 

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.

Limited crowds will also be allowed at sporting events and foreign holidays could be permitted for people living in England.

All remaining restrictions on social contact could be lifted from June 21, allowing for larger events to go ahead and nightclubs to reopen.