Families and friends will shortly be able to pay their respects to loved ones in greater numbers, with numerical limits on funerals to be removed.

After careful consideration, the legal limit of 30 mourners will be removed as part of Step 3 of the roadmap, to take place from 17 May at the earliest. As the Prime Minister has said, the current data does not suggest any need to alter the dates at which restrictions will next be eased.

Instead, the number of people who can attend a funeral will be determined by how many people the venue, such as the relevant place of worship or funeral home, can safely accommodate with social distancing. This includes both indoor and outdoor venues. Capacities of venues will vary, but many will allow significantly more than 30 people to attend.

Limits for other life or commemorative events at Step 3, such as weddings and wakes, are expected to remain as set out in the roadmap.

Following Step 2 on 12 April, hospital admissions and cases of severe illness are in line with modelling provided by scientific experts, both when the roadmap was first published and ahead of Step 2.

Boosted by a successful vaccination rollout, with over 48 million doses given, the public’s efforts to suppress the virus are working.

Communities Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP 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.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.