Covid-19 Cemeteries & Burials

Attendance at burials 

Updated Thursday 7 January: We realise that it is always difficult to lose a loved one and understand the particular challenges facing bereaved families at a time when ordinary activity and movement is restricted. However the Council also has to be mindful of the need to protect its employees and the wider community.

Current Scottish Government guidance is that no more than 20 people should attend a funeral service in person. This will apply to both indoor and outdoor funeral services. This is to help prevent and mitigate any potential spread of the virus. 

Mourners will be required to follow physical distancing measures including staying two metres apart from other households. 

Depending on a venue’s capacity, the total number of people able to attend a funeral service may be less than 20 people. Individual organisations are best placed to judge capacity. 

The current Scottish Government guidance is that post funeral gatherings such as wakes cannot take place.  

For more information, read the Scottish Government latest stay at home guidance on their website. 


At the Cemetery

No services or ceremonies are permitted within the Council’s cemeteries at this time.  This includes music and the distribution of service sheets and the Council would ask local celebrants to be mindful of this.

Only the Council’s burial staff and Funeral Directors shall be involved in transporting the coffin from the hearse to the graveside and lowering the coffin.  Physical distancing with mourners must be maintained while transporting the coffin and during the burial.  Mourners must remain behind any markers in place to maintain a suitable distance to the burial staff.  Once the coffin has been lowered then the Council’s burial staff will step away from the graveside to allow the immediate family in attendance a short period of time to step forward and pay respects.

Please note that the Council reserves the right to suspend the committal in the event of any failure to observe these requirements.

We appreciate your understanding and co-operation in these measures to help protect the Council’s staff and the wider community from coronavirus (Covid-19).

Updated Friday 27 March: The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions) (Scotland) Regulations 2020 set out temporary restrictions around funeral services.  These regulations permit you to leave your home to attend the funeral service of:

  • a member of your household;
  • a close family member; or
  • only if no-one in the above two categories is attending, a close friend.

Compliance with these regulations and the wider guidance on physical distancing is important to help stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) amongst communities and to protect the health and wellbeing of staff and those attending.

In line with wider public health advice, attendance at the cemetery must be kept to the minimum number of people possible, and for the avoidance of doubt, no more than 10 people should attend.

You must not attend the burial if you are displaying symptoms of coronavirus (Covid-19) or if you are required to self-isolate because a member of your household has displayed symptoms.