Covid 19

Covid 19

Covid 19

Funerals and COVID-19

Planning a funeral can be overwhelming, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are planning a funeral we hope this information can assist you to understand the current restrictions in place for funerals.

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Restrictions on attendance

Australia’s federal, state and territory governments have all eased restrictions on the number of people that can attend a funeral. See below for any current restrictions on funeral attendance and mask requirements for each state and territory. Updated 20 June 2022.

NSW

As at 20 June 2022 anyone can attend a funeral or place of worship. You don't need to be fully vaccinated or show proof of your vaccination status. Density limits no longer apply to funerals and memorials. Singing and dancing will be permitted at all venues. Masks on public transport and at public transport waiting areas — including in taxis and rideshare services; hospitals and health facilities; residential care facility or hostel; cruise terminals and on an aircraft. Gathering restrictions density limits no longer apply. Close contacts household and close contacts do not need to self-isolate if you do not have any symptoms, but must follow NSW Health household and close contact guidelines for 7 days from the last time someone in your household tested positive to COVID-19. See NSW Government website for more information and latest travel advice.

ACT

As at 17 June 2022 density limits for places of worship and funerals have been removed. Masks Any person aged 12 years or older must wear a face mask if they’re on public transport; a public transport driver when transporting passengers; an employee or visitor in a high-risk setting, including hospitals, residential aged care facilities, correctional facilities or residential accommodation facilities; a worker who provides services to a person with a disability; a worker for in-home and community aged care providers and on a domestic flight in or out of Canberra Airport. Gathering restrictions no limit on number of visitors to a home or informal outdoor gatherings. Close contacts household contacts will not have to quarantine if they have no COVID-19 symptoms but will be required to minimise their movement in the community and comply with risk mitigation requirements including mask wearing indoors, COVID testing requirements and not entering high-risk settings. See the ACT Government website for more information and latest travel advice.

QLD

As at 12 June 2022 density limits will no longer apply for funerals. Masks no longer required but recommended whenever you can’t socially distance and continue to be required in public transport, airports, planes, hospitals, disability care, aged care, prison settings and when outside of the home if you have COVID-19 symptoms or are waiting for a COVID-19 PCR test result. Gathering restrictions no limits on visitors in homes. No limit on gatherings in public outdoor spaces. Density limits no longer apply to any venues or events. Close contacts no quarantine requirements if asymptomatic, however need to follow strict guidelines. See QLD Government website for more information and latest travel advice.

VIC

As at 20 June 2022 there are no vaccination requirements or capacity limits in place for funerals or religious ceremonies. Masks must still be worn on public transport, taxis, ride shares, and planes, but will no longer be required at airports. Masks still required in sensitive settings such as hospitals and care facilities. Gathering restrictions there are no limits to the number of people you can gather with in your home or in public places. Visitor caps to care facilities, including residential aged care and disability are removed. Close contacts no longer required to quarantine – provided they wear a face mask indoors and avoid sensitive settings. See the VIC Government website for checklist for COVID contacts and latest travel advice.

SA

As at 20 June 2022 there are no longer any density limits for funerals. Singing and dancing is allowed. A COVID Marshal is still required and COVID Management Plans are required for events of more than 1000 people. Masks only required in disability and aged care facilities (not including residents); prisons; hospitals and health care services; passenger transport services and on airplanes. Gathering restrictions there are no limits on how many people can gather in a home or outdoors. Close contacts no longer required to quarantine for 7 days, however to protect the community it is important you follow the close contact guidelines and wear a mask when you leave the house for 7 days after your exposure date (12 years and older). See SA Government website for more information and latest travel advice.

NT

As at 20 June 2022 there is no limit on the number of people who can attend a funeral in the Northern Territory. Participants at funerals and religious ceremonies must practise physical distancing and proper hygiene measures. Masks 12 years or older, you must wear a face mask in the following high-risk areas: hospitals and other healthcare facilities; aged-care and residential-disability facilities; correctional facilities; shelters, such as those for people experiencing family violence and aboard aircraft. Gathering restrictions no limit to how many people can gather indoors or outdoors — but you should keep 1.5 metres from people you don’t live with. If you need to be closer than 1.5 metres, keep contact to less than 15 minutes at a time. Try to avoid participating in social gatherings for more than 2 hours at a time. Close contacts see the NT Government Government website for more information.

WA

As at 20 June 2022 no longer any capacity or density limits in place for venues in WA including funerals. Proof of vaccination will only be required for entry to hospitals and residential aged care facilities. COVID Safety and Event Plans are no longer required, but are encouraged. Masks no longer mandatory, except in some high-risk settings. Gathering restrictions all capacity and gathering limits have been lifted. Close contacts asymptomatic close contacts will no longer need to isolate, subject to strict protocols see WA Government website for more information and latest travel advice.

TAS

As at 20 June 2022 there are no longer capacity or density limits for funerals. However, business owners may choose to use capacity limits as part of their ongoing COVID-19 safety management. In all cases, it's important that physical distancing and hygiene requirements are followed. Masks Required in certain settings Gathering restrictions no density or capacity limits in place for gatherings. However an individual business or premises may choose to place maximum capacity numbers on their premises as part of their COVID-19 safety plan. For more information and the latest travel advice visit the TAS Government website.

While we understand that it is difficult to limit the number of people who can attend the funeral of your loved one these measures have been introduced to protect your health and to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. AFDA members are absolutely committed to providing a respectful and inclusive farewell despite the strict limitations on physical attendance.

For more information on these restrictions visit the Australian Government Department of Health website www.health.gov.au

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travel restrictions

All states and territories have now opened their borders for travel, however for the latest travel advice please refer to the government website for the relevant state or territory.

AFDA members continue to maintain the highest levels of hygiene, social distancing practices and overall COVID-19 safety practices. We suggest you check with your funeral director if you have any COVID-19 concerns.

Involving everyone
in the funeral

A funeral plays an important part in the mourning process. People need time to mourn the loss of family and friends. A funeral ceremony fills this need and provides people with an important place to share in their grief and help the living say goodbye. There are ways to still include everyone in a funeral, even if they cannot attend in person:

Live streaming the service

Organise video messages from loved ones to be screened at the funeral

Have written messages to share at the funeral

Create a video of the funeral to share with others

Consider asking family and friends to pause for a moment of remembrance at the same time as those attending the funeral

Plan a memorial for a later date

Another option is to plan a memorial at a later date for your loved one when the restrictions on gatherings have been lifted. A memorial can be held in the funeral home or at another location that has significant meaning for your loved one. This will allow you to celebrate and reflect on the life of your loved one with all of your family and friends.

frequently asked questions

Yes, there has been no change as to your choice of a burial or a cremation.

A funeral can be arranged over the phone or via electronic options such as FaceTime with your funeral director.

There is no difference however there may a time delay due to those attending self-isolating for a period of 14 days.

Family viewing of the deceased may be possible however family members should avoid any contact with the body.  

This will be reviewed by your funeral director and discussed with you to explain the various options available.

Further resources

Australian Government Department of Health

Coronavirus (COVID-19) health alert

Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement

Grief and Bereavement and COVID-19

Center for Loss and Life Transition

Funerals in the time of Coronavirus: Thoughts for families by Dr Alan Wolfelt

Center for Loss and Life Transition

Condolences in the time of COVID-19: Guidance for conveying your love and support by Dr Alan Wolfelt