Churches in Scotland have said only “close” and “immediate” family should attend funerals and weddings during the coronavirus pandemic.
Advice – given by the Church of Scotland and echoed by the Catholic Church – said the key issue at ceremonies was to “minimise social contact”.
Ministers have been told by the Kirk: “Sensitive conversations will need to take place with families and mourners ahead of funeral ceremonies, and to consider the size of groups gathering for funerals.
“It may be necessary in the future to consider whether funerals should be restricted exclusively to minister, immediate family, and funeral directors.”
A statement from the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland added: “For the celebration of baptisms, funeral masses and weddings we would ask that only close family are invited.”
On the topic of weddings completed by the Church of Scotland, it was said that “rearranging” may be necessary in some cases.
The Kirk added: “Certain venues will be restricting attendance, and it may be that couples have to work through what changes have to made, including, in some cases, rearranging.
“Restrictions on travel into the UK will also have an effect on guests at weddings. Again, sensitive conversations will be the order of the day.”
Church services and mass have been stopped for the time being, as both bodies look to avoid larger gatherings.
The guidance has been issued as the Scottish Government confirmed schools and nurseries are due to close from Friday.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said they had lost too many staff to continue as normal and added she couldn’t promise they would reopen until after the summer holidays.
“My view is that it is now inevitable that we will close schools and nurseries,” she said.
“My planning assumption now is schools will close to pupils at the end of this week and I wanted today to give parents notice of that now.”
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