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Tuesday 5 December 2023 Dublin: 3°C
rites of passage

Funeral mourners to increase to 25 next month but no word on weddings

From 26 April, the maximum attendance at a funeral will increase to 25 people.

THE NUMBER OF mourners allowed at funerals will be increased from 26 April but there is to be no change in Covid-19 regulations to allow for in-person Easter services.

From 26 April, the maximum attendance at a funeral will increase to 25 people from the current maximum of 10 people. 

Guidance released by the government this evening notes that “linked gatherings should not take place before or after funeral services”.

This guidance is a reference to previous concerns outlined by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) that people were meeting in private households and ignoring social distancing guidelines following funeral services. 

While the number of people attending funerals is set to increase, there are currently no plans for an increase in the number allowed to attend weddings, with Taoiseach Micheál Martin saying this will be reviewed.

At present, a maximum of six guests can attend weddings. 

There is also no immediate change allowing for religious services to take place, with the Taoiseach saying that services could return in May “depending on progress”. 

Consideration on this will take place after 4 May. 

This decision means that the government will not be adhering to a request from the head of the Catholic Church in Ireland who had said that people should be able to gather safely to mark Easter in Ireland.

During an address this evening, the Taoiseach acknowledged that Easter can not be celebrated “in the manner we would like”.

“Easter is a time for reflection and it is a time of renewal. This year we will not be able to mark or celebrate Easter in the manner we would like, but we can and we should take the time to reflect on the sacrifices that we’ve all made over the past year. We can and we should take time this Easter to look forward with hope,” he said.

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