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covid restrictions ashes scattering

Scattering Ashes Covid-19/Coronavirus advice

These unprecedented times have led to a huge amount of confusion on social do’s and don’t. The following is merely our opinion based on Government advice and has no legal standing.

Scattering Ashes in a lockdown situation:

What we know – Funerals are to go ahead, but mourners are to be limited to immediate family, being:

  • Spouse/Partner
  • Parents/carers
  • Brothers/Sisters
  • Children (and partners)

Access to public spaces is limited. National Parks are closed, as are historic land, buildings and property. Is scattering ashes part of the funeral? Well it depends which source you use, the following are from a variety of online dictionary sources: a ceremony, often a religious one, for burying or cremating (= burning) a dead person a ceremony or service held shortly after a person’s death, usually including the person’s burial or cremation. The one from has a wider definition:

  1. A ceremony or group of ceremonies held in connection with the burial or cremation of a dead person.

Most dictionaries stick with the traditional Christian version of what constitutes a funeral. Although for other religions wider aspects need to be considered, specifically those on Hindu and Sikh faiths where a funeral would most certainly include the immersion of the ashes in water. It appears that the many if not all crematoria have put ashes scattering ceremonies on hold during the outbreak (you would need to contact your crematoria as each one is different). So our advice is: Delay the scattering ceremony unless religious doctrine makes it a requirement. Even last wishes should not be considered absolute in such circumstances, as it is unlikely that your loved one would wish to put you at risk through commemorating them. If you are compelled to scatter the ashes, only immediate family should be in attend. Do not expect to use the services of a boat company, as many in not all will not be operating. You can scatter into the river from a rivers edge. Please exercise caution.

  • Do not lean over the edge where your safety may be compromised
  • Scattering off bridge should be avoid to for the same reason (and the ashes will blow about)
  • Use a pontoon or floating mooring if accessible, this is an example above, which allows better access to the water. Please note, many of these are private and public access is not permitted. We do not have a list of locations open to the public. As far as we are aware the scattering platform at Leicester is still accessible (we do not know for certain).
  • Follow existing Environment Agency guidance and general rules / advice on scattering on water
  • It is a good idea to record or even stream the ceremony to those unable to attend – Free software such as Zoom would work.

So, in summary:

If you can, wait If you can’t – close family members only, from a safe place and record it for others

28 thoughts on “Scattering Ashes Covid-19/Coronavirus advice

  1. Reply
    Shaunagh - 13th April 2021

    Hi there

    Does the rule of 6 still apply for scattering of ashes even with the recent lock down restrictions being eased?

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 14th April 2021

      15 are allowed now.
      30 as of the 17 May and no restrictions as of 21 June

  2. Reply
    Charlene wilson - 24th March 2021

    I live in wales my husband passed away last year and asked if I would take his ashes to Plymouth on his birthday at the end of March
    I will go alone by car
    Am I allowed

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 29th March 2021

      Dear Charlene
      Yes that is permitted.
      Kind regards

  3. Reply
    Louise - 12th March 2021

    Thanks you for all your help and advice in this difficult time. Does the rule of 6 apply to the internment of ashes too rather than scattering?

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 15th March 2021

      Dear Louise
      Yes it does, sorry.

  4. Reply
    Sa - 10th March 2021

    One of my loved ones passed away last year and I have some of her ashes as I wanted them in a tattoo, now thinking of getting them into jewellery. Would this be able to be done as she tested positive for covid

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 11th March 2021

      Dear Sa
      The simple answer is yes it would okay.
      Kind regards

    2. Reply
      claire akred - 21st March 2021

      What are the rules for an internment of ashes how many people can go. We were thinking of doing it end April beginning of May will rule of 6 apply.

      1. Reply
        Richard Martin - 22nd March 2021

        Hi Claire

        You will be allowed 15 people by then, the rules change on the 12 April.

  5. Reply
    Alana - 6th March 2021

    Hi there,

    I have been waiting to scatter my mums’ ashes for over a year. I am wanting to travel to a different part of the UK. Is this permitted during the current lockdown? And would I be allowed to stay in a hotel during my travels? It would only be me traveling. Thank you in advance 🙂

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 8th March 2021

      Dear Alana

      Yes you are allowed to travel and I believe to stay somewhere in order to scatter someone’s ashes.

  6. Reply
    Sandie - 25th February 2021

    Hi there I am in an unfortunate situation and have been waiting to scatter my dads ashes for almost a year as we decided to travel abroad with him we couldn’t do this because of restrictions and no travelling .. We have decided to now go to Southend on sea where my dad used to take us on mini breaks so it is a sentimental place .. However we will have to wait for another couple of months before we could visit Southend on sea .. Would they possibly open earlier for scattering of ashes across the sea ? We are just thinking that immediate family will be present and no more than 4 adults will be present

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 25th February 2021

      You would be allowed to visit Southend for the purposes of scattering ashes (on the beach / in the sea), you are allowed 6 people in the party.
      Hope that helps
      Kind regards

  7. Reply
    Mrs Ellen Sutton - 9th February 2021

    Are you allowed to get your loved ones ashes with covid if you have a simple cremation.?

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 9th February 2021

      Dear Ellen

      Yes that is absolutely fine, this is part of the funeral.
      Kind regards

  8. Reply
    Laura - 29th January 2021

    Can I travel to collect my dads ashes from the crematorium? Thanks for any help

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 29th January 2021

      Yes you can Laura.

  9. Reply
    Manoj Kumar - 18th October 2020

    Does the rule of 30 (for funerals) applies for scattering ashes?

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 19th October 2020

      According to funeral trade bodies that are in contact with the Government the 30 limit is applicable to ash scattering ceremonies.

      1. Reply
        MRS MALA SHAH - 28th February 2021

        Hi Richard I would like go from Wales to London to attend scattering of ashes of my dad on 14th March 2021, but had pasted away March 24th 2020.with my husband, daughter, her boyfriend and my son, is this allowed.

        1. Reply
          Richard Martin - 1st March 2021

          Dear Mrs Shah

          Yes, but only 6 people are allowed at the ceremony.

          Kind regards

  10. Reply
    ROSEMARY ALCOCK - 22nd September 2020

    We are due to scatter ashes of my mum and dad this Saturday at there b
    Out door bowling Green with only close family no more than 10
    Will this be OK risk assessment has been put in place

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 24th September 2020

      Dear Rosemary
      This is very much open to interpretation. Arguably it is part of someone’s funeral rites and thus the rule of six is not applicable. However, this view is certainly not universal.

      I suspect you will not be challenged, but that may not be the point.

      Sorry for being vague.

    2. Reply
      Tasha BARNFIELD - 25th February 2021

      My mother in law was cremated on 18th February 2021, are there any rules and regulations regarding scattering her ashes around the tree in the cemetery where her baby sons ashes were scattered 30 years ago? Because of Covid or any other reason? X

      1. Reply
        Richard Martin - 26th February 2021

        Dear Tasha
        The Covid rules apply to the number of people attending the ceremony – currently this is 6 people. The issue perhaps more pertinent is that you state the tree is in a cemetery, therefore you would need to speak to the organisation that runs the cemetery and get their okay.
        I hope this helps.
        Kind regards

  11. Reply
    AGUSTIN BAUTISTA - 15th August 2020

    can you get covid 19 from ashes

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 18th August 2020

      No. The ashes don’t into contact with people.

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