Funerals and Weddings during COVID-19

How many people can attend a funeral?

The National Cabinet has introduced limits on public gatherings, including funerals, to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. From 12:00am on 26 March 2020, funerals are limited to no more than 10 people. This includes any funeral home staff.

Who can attend a funeral?

It is a matter for you to decide. Priority would be given to immediate family. It is a difficult and emotional decision to make but you should not include anyone who is at risk or unwell or who may have had contact with someone with coronavirus.

Do the social distancing rules still apply?

Yes. You need to maintain a distance of 1.5m between people and ensure there is a space of 4 square metres per person.

Can you touch the deceased person?

The Department of Health advises that you should not kiss the deceased. However, you can touch the body if you wash your hands immediately after or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser. In most cases, you do not need to wear gloves.

What other funeral options are available?

  • Livestreaming of funerals and memorial services
  • Private cremations i.e no one is in attendance at the funeral service itself.
  • A public memorial service to be held at a later date.

Talk to the funeral director about what options may be available for you.

What fines or penalties will be applied for non-compliance?

People can be arrested, summonsed and charged with penalties of up to $16,800 or 6 months’ jail time, or both.


Weddings can be conducted with no more than 5 people, including the couple, the celebrant and the witnesses. The 4 square metre rule and social distancing must be observed.

Last updated: 13-April-2021