May I attend a funeral during lockdown?

May I attend a funeral during lockdown?

Unfortunately, we cannot control the passing of our friends and family members, despite lockdown. If you want to attend a funeral, please take note of the newly amended lockdown regulations which determine who and how one may travel.

Initiation, religious gatherings affected by COVID-19:

Only the following persons, who live outside a province or metropolitan and district areas, may attend a funeral:

(i) spouse or partner of the deceased;

(ii) children of the deceased, whether biological, adopted or stepchildren.

(iii) children-in-law of the deceased;

(iv) parents of the deceased whether biological, adopted or step parents;

(v) siblings, whether biological, adopted or stepbrother or sister of the deceased;

(vi) grandparents of the deceased; and

(vii) persons closely affiliated to the deceased. “Closely affiliated” means; a person with parental responsibilities and rights in respect of the deceased or a person who had developed a significant relationship based on care- giving, psychological or emotional attachment to the deceased.”

The current prohibition of 50 persons attending a funeral is still in operation. The holding of night vigils is still prohibited.

The amendment also limits the individuals who are permitted to travel to funerals. The regulation now outlines that people who wish to travel for burials or cremations, must obtain a permit to do so.

The permit may be obtained from:

– A Magistrate who is the head of office or

– a station commander of a police station or a person designated by him or her

In order to obtain a permit:

The magistrate/ station commander must be provided with a death certificate / a certified copy thereof;

The permit holder may stay at a hotel, lodge or guest house for the duration of the funeral or cremation. The permit must be presented to the owner or manager of the hotel, lodge or guest house.

According to the government gazette, a person issued with a permit should not be in the vicinity for more than 48 hours and cannot stay at the place of residence of a relative or friend.

Only two family members or a person with a close affiliation to the deceased may, with the required permits, accompany the vehicle transporting the mortal remains to the metropolitan or district area, or province where the burial or cremation will take place.

Contact us should there be any uncertainty whether you may travel for a funeral during this time.

The complete amended regulations can be downloaded here:


Alet Smit I Attorney at Louw & Coetzee Attorneys