People are being urged to observe the public health guidelines around funerals, as concern has been raised about recent associated outbreaks of Covid-19.

The Irish Association of Funeral Directors said non-compliance with the guidelines has been observed at some funerals, particularly in rural areas.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, IAFD spokesperson Mary Cunniffe said it did not come as a huge surprise when Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said there had been breaches of regulations.

Dr Holohan has raised concerns about increases in the average daily five-day case count and on Monday said: "We are also seeing number of outbreaks across the country. These include outbreaks in association with funerals.

"We understand that this is a difficult time for families, but it is really important that we do everything we can to avoid the circumstances which promote transmission of the virus."

Ms Cunniffe said that at some funerals people are turning up in greater numbers than 25 and some are not adhering to mask wearing, hand hygiene or social distancing.

She said members are strongly recommending to families that the arrangements are kept to a minimum when making the death announcement.

Ms Cunniffe said that funerals should strictly adhere to 25 people attending, which is happening "in the main" and churches and crematoriums are strict about this.

However, she said "some are not keeping to that".

Under Level 5 restrictions, funerals are limited to 25 mourners.

Some funeral notices do include an invitation to people who would have liked to attend to instead gather along the route of the cortège or at the churchyard or cemetery, while observing social distancing.


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Ms Cunniffe said the association has no control over wakes in homes and people calling to homes, and she urged people not to feel under pressure to attend a funeral if they see arrangements published.

She said there were other ways to send condolences or to support the family by putting condolences on a relevant website or contacting the funeral director.