The Government has published an updated version of COVID-19: guidance for the safe use of places of worship as England moves to Step 3 of the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions on Monday 17 May. It has also published specific guidance for arranging or attending a funeral during the coronavirus pandemic and wedding and civil partnership ceremonies, receptions and celebrations:
For places of worship, the key changes are as follows:
- Most significant life events can resume, limited to no more than 30 people. This will include events such as bar/bat mitzvot and private baptisms, and naming ceremonies. Limits at weddings, wedding receptions, wakes and other commemorative events will be increased to 30 people.
- Funerals will have no legal cap on the number of people who can attend. The number of attenders will be determined by how many people the venue can safely accommodate with social distancing measures in place.
- Outdoors, most legal restrictions on meeting others will be lifted – although gatherings of over 30 people will remain illegal unless otherwise exempt.
- Support groups and parent and child group gathering limits will increase to 30 people (not including under-5s).
COVID-Secure rules, including social distancing requirements, continue to apply in the workplace, and in businesses and public venues.
At Step 4, which will take place no earlier than 21 June, the Government aims to remove all limits on lifecycle events and other gatherings in England.
And here are the relevant Regs: The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Steps and Other Provisions) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 SI/2021/585.