Without doubt, the pandemic has put many of our usual activities and gatherings on hold, including bidding our loved ones one final farewell.
In this quick guide, we gathered the most important things you should know about COVID-19 restrictions when it comes to attending and organising funerals. We answered the most common questions you might have about updated restrictions too, so read on to know more.
Can I attend a funeral in Singapore during the pandemic?
You can, but keep in mind that there are restrictions in place.
For one, only a maximum of 30 people are allowed to attend a funeral at any one time. This applies to all days and rites involved in the funeral such as wakes, burials, cremation, and foot processions.
For burials or cremation rites held in government-managed facilities, take note that NEA will only issue 30 entry passes for every event.
For those who will be buried at sea, only a maximum of 5 people are allowed per boat. This includes the boat captain, family members, pastor (if applicable), and funeral home staff members (if applicable).
The same maximum capacity also applies to in-land ash scattering facilities in Singapore.
As of January 2022, only those with a cleared status (i.e. fully vaccinated, recovered, etc.) and children under 12 years old will be allowed to attend funerals.
Is testing required prior to attending a funeral?
No, you don’t need to have yourself tested prior to attending a funeral.
However, guests are expected to minimise interactions with other guests and keep their masks on at all times. Guests are also expected to check-in using SafeEntry for funeral events and funeral parlours with wake halls.
Are buffets allowed in funerals?
As of January 2022, arranging buffet set-ups or any reception with food and drinks are still not allowed. Furthermore, providing packet drinks or individually packed tidbits is also not allowed.
Is instrumental music allowed in funerals?
Live instrumental music is allowed in funerals as long as the people involved in playing these instruments practise safe distancing measures while keeping their masks on at all times.
Furthermore, only non-wind instruments like guitars or pianos may be played in funerals. Singing is also prohibited for the meantime. Note that those playing instruments aren’t allowed to participate in foot processions.
Are there restrictions in place specific to religious funeral rites?
All funerals regardless of religious belief are subject to general restrictions such as those above.
However, there are more stringent restrictions in place if the person has died from COVID-19.
For instance, Hindu families normally practise keeping the body at home prior to being cremated. But if their loved one has passed due to COVID-19, families can no longer bring the body back to the house.
In the case of Muslim funerals, the burial zones for COVID-19 deaths are demarcated for safe distancing.