Updates COVID-19

As we face a new wave of the global pandemic, our thoughts continue to be with all of our members, their staff, as well as with their families during this yet again challenging situation.


Update November 2, 2020


In Austria funerals now have a limit of 100 participants. The number of deceased is in total 1064. The number of infected people is increasing heavily. We are expecting stronger restrictions.


Strict restrictions have been put in place for the month of November (partial lockdown) by the federal government for all counties. All schools remain open and all leisure facilities are closed. Funerals can still be held with hygienic measures being upheld.  Number of Covid infected is increasing rapidly (19,000+ on 31.10.2020) and restrictions are to keep capacity of health facilities under control. Number of deaths very slightly increased.

However, each of the 16 countries can implement their own rules. Example: Burials and funeral ceremonies remain permitted. At every funeral, the minimum distance of 1.50 m must be observed. An everyday mask must always be worn in mourning halls; for funerals in the open air only if there are 25 or more participants.  The pastor may take off the mask. An attendance list must always be kept in closed rooms. Only close relatives without distancing measures allowed in outside services. For private mourning halls, 10m² space per person. Catering services generally prohibited.


The number of (assumed) Covid deaths are around 200 per day. The number of contagions are increasing day by day (almost 20.000). The government issued a new act last Monday that impose some strong restrictions on the leisure time activities, disco, cinema, theaters and gym must to be closed, bar – restaurants and pub, open till 6,00 p.m. but no more than 6 people at the same table. Obligation to wear the mask everywhere –except home! They push on the smart working and the school are open but with some restrictions.

There is the concrete possibility the lockdown in will be declared in some cities and areas where the number of contagions - a well as the hospitalizations - are dangerously high.


The situation in Norway is overall the same, we have local increasing numbers of infected persons, but the total numbers of deceased of Covid-19 are only 275.

We have the same general restrictions with funeral ceremonies up to 200 participants, but private gatherings is restricted to 50 people, even only 20 in some municipalities.


Portugal has reported 144.341 Covid cases which 81.771 are already recovered and 2.544 deaths. In October have been registered at the last 7 days a daily average of 3.596 new Covid cases (+512% than April) and 30 deaths per day (+7% than April). So, this is increasing and the authorities are concerned about the capacity of health facilities to attend everybody.

New rules for some regions are announced as: civic duty to be at home; differentiate schedules of the employees; obligation to work at home always when it’s possible; 5 person at maximum joint together; funeral with no limit in out space just for family, in side chapels or other inside rooms depends of the area; general use of mask even outside; commercial shops and restaurants must close at 22H00.


In Spain, at the request of the Government, Congress has approved a new emergency state, for a period 6 months. Under this legal coverage, the regions (“Comunidades Autónomas”) may approve different restrictions depending on how the pandemic evolves in their territories.

The first one, a curfew every night of the week, from 10-12 p.m. until 6 a.m. the next day. The perimeter closure of all municipalities and some regions has also been imposed (not home confinement). In many regions, restaurants are closed (only delivery/take away is allowed), and cinemas, theatres, sports clubs, etc. too. Schools are still open and in universities, classes are mostly taught online.

The rate of new infections is increasing a lot (25.595 new cases on last Saturday). Spain has reported 1.190.000 Covid cases and 35.877 deaths. The daily number of hospital admissions is also increasing and the authorities are concerned  that the health system could collapse within a few weeks.

But the rules are beginning to have positive effects in the territories where they began to apply two weeks ago.

In our sector, the situation is under control by the moment. The number of daily Covid deaths has grown but fortunately it is well below the levels reached in March and April. Wakes: limited to 6 people. Ceremonies: limited to 30 % of capacity. This All Saints weekend, the number of visitors to cemeteries has dropped significantly, compared to last year.  


We have no lockdowns, but we currently have a very large spread of infection in the country at the same time as we increase the number of guests at funerals from 50 to 300. Which is very doubtful when the spread of infection is at its highest. Number of deaths are very low.

Complete update COVID-19

Update October 2020

Many countries all over the world are yet again facing difficult and challenging times and we are far from normaility in all aspects of our current life. However, we have all been able to learn how to deal with the pandemic on all levels and we continue to support our members whereever possible. Please contact us at any time.

Complete update COVID-19


Update from the EFFS Board members:

France: funeral ceremonies allowed with up to 20 people; total deaths 28,000; state of emergency extended to July 10, 2020

Sweden: waiting period for funerals increased from normal 24 days to 30 days; no embalming; all deceased body bags mandatory; total deaths 4,200 thereof 3,900 in last 10 weeks with 50% in Stockholm; funerals with max. 50 persons allowed; viewing allowed

Italy: many restrictions and regulations lifted as of May 11, 2020; funerals allowed with up to 15 persons; COVID-19 deceased - forbidden to dress the deceased body, show and view it, closed coffin; total deaths 34,000; mortality rate returning to normal rate

Germany: steps toward normality throughout the country; major problem federalism; each of 16 counties can make own decisions on regulations and restrictions; total deaths 8,000; normal daily mortality rate in comparison 2,500 deaths; funerals limited depending on county from family members only to max. 50 persons; PPE shortage for funeral professionals and hospitals

Spain: mortality rate started returning to normal numbers beginning of April; since mid-May at normal rate; steps back to normality in four phases (0-4) with two-week intervals; most municipalities in phase 1 with Barcelona and Madrid at phase 0; total deaths 28,000 with no more outbreaks; new infections low; funerals with max. 10 persons; funeral faculties can only operate at 30% of max. capacity

Portugal: state of emergency lifted end of April; 29,000 positive COVID cases, 1,200 deaths, 4% of cases died due to COVID and 24% were COVID infected; max. 10 people at any gathering; nationwide decision by members of Portuguese Funeral Association not to practice the tradition of vigils; bereaved can view deceased 30-40 minutes before funeral

Austria: closing of borders caused problems; schools and shops have re-opened; funerals up to 30 persons allowed; variations depending on size of facility (10m² per person); 500 total deaths; digitalisation and streaming services increased substantially; revenue down by 25% due to less services being purchased for funerals

Slovakia: outdoor funeral allowed; up to 5 persons; total deaths 24 nationwide; government closed borders, airports, schools, churches; moving towards normality in four phases with the country now at phase 3; schools re-opening in June; PPE becoming difficult; COVID19 infected body bag mandatory

Norway: lockdown since March 13, 2020, epicentre Oslo; reduced revenue at funerals; max. 50 people; total deaths 235; mortality rate including COVID deceased less than same time last year; re-opening commencing; Norwegian production of PPE; streaming services well received

Complete update COVID-19


ECDC launches new COVID-19 situation dashboard

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Interviews from around Europe

Funermostra has started a series of interviews, which we would like to share with you. Many of our members will be contributing.


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Homeland International

Our EFFS member in the UK shows their support!

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General Assembly 2020/21

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Save the date! September 2021 General Assembly in Oslo, Norway.

ALPAR Latin America starts initiative

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ALPAR, the Funeral Assocation of South America, invites funeral professionals around the world to participate in “The World United for Life”.

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