Covid-19 Updates

The health and wellbeing of our colleagues and visitors is paramount to us and, as such, we continue to closely monitor updates on COVID-19 from the World Health Organisation, Scottish Government and Health Protection Scotland.

Please check this page for regular updates.

14th September Update

During the recent update, the First Minister confirmed that there is no change to the current funeral service restrictions. Attendance remains capped at 20 for both indoor and outdoor funeral services.

This means that the maximum number of attendees at service in both Woodside Chapel and Martyrs Chapel is 20 people.

Those attending funerals continue to be subject to physical distancing measures to enable a 2 metre distance to be maintained between different household groups.  We respectfully request that this guidance is followed when you attend funeral services at Woodside.

It is also mandatory that face coverings are worn in both crematorium chapels, this includes Funeral Directors and our staff.

We would discourage people who are not counted in the cap of 20 people from going to the funeral service and gathering outside the crematorium chapels, failure to follow this guidance regarding attendees could lead to the cremation service being delayed or cancelled.

7th August Update

From 8 August, everyone attending an indoor funeral service will be required by law to wear a face covering. This includes funeral services in crematoriums, funeral directors’ premises and places of worship. The cap on numbers of attendees at indoor and outdoor funeral services remains at no more than 20 people, and less than 20 people if the 2m physical distancing rules are not able to be adhered to.

Please see the Scottish Government’s latest blog post for the full update, including on the limited exceptions to the rule and other information.

The Scottish Government has stated that its guidance documents are in the process of being updated to reflect the new rule.

15th July Update

As we move into the next phase of the route map out of lockdown a number of restrictions surrounding funerals have been lifted.

The restriction surrounding who can attend a funeral service has been eased meaning funeral services are no longer limited to just “close family”. However, to assist those organising a funeral a maximum cap of 20 on funeral service attendance has been introduced with physical distancing. Please can mourners remain 2 metres apart (except where they are from the same household or a carer and the person is assisted by the carer).

Despite the easing of some restrictions, it was recently announced singing and chanting was to stop at funeral services due to the increased risk of transmission of the virus. It is advised that recording of music are used as an alternative at funeral services.

As of today, NHS Test and Protect is now in effect across a number of organisations including cremations and burial authorities.

Please ask your lead mourner to supply this information to you in advance and submit this to the crematorium staff at the time of the service (download this template for your use).

Guidance on Test and Protect (collection of customer and visitor contact details) was published yesterday. You can see it here –

The administration office and remembrance room have now re-opened however this is on an appointment only basis and subject to strict hygiene measures and physical distancing.

1st July update

As we move into Phase 2 of the route map out of lockdown restrictions, I am pleased to advise that attended dispersals of ashes will recommence as of Wednesday 1st July, however, we will be following Scottish Government Guidelines regarding meeting others:

  • No more than three households can meet, you must stay at least 2 metres apart from people from other households at all times.
  • If people from more than one household are meeting, you should meet in small numbers – no more than 8 people in total at a time.

Restrictions around Funeral Services

The Scottish Government have advised that Funeral service restrictions are unlikely to be eased before 23 July, though this is being kept under review. When changes do ease, physical distancing requirements and cleaning and other hygiene requirements will still remain firmly in place.

Until funeral restrictions are eased, the current Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions) (Scotland) Regulations 2020 rules continue to apply. That is, permitting an individual to attend a funeral if they are:

  • A household member of the person who has died;
  • a close family member of the person who has died;
  • if no-one in the above two categories is attending, a friend of the person who has died.

Please see link below to link to the Scottish Government blog on Funerals, Burials and Cremations for further information:

8 April 2020

Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions) (Scotland) Regulations 2020

These regulations set out temporary restrictions on the opening to the public of crematoriums and also restrictions around funeral services. The Scottish Government will notify us when these restrictions are lifted.

Closure of crematoriums to the public

The regulations require crematoriums (and where crematoriums include burial grounds within their premises, those burial grounds) to close to members of the public. The exception of this closure to members of the public is when a funeral service is being held.

Where a funeral service is being held at a crematorium, reasonable measures are to be taken to ensure that a distance of two metres is maintained between every person during the funeral (other than between two members of the same household, or a carer and the person who is assisted by the carer).

The regulations do not extend to the closure of burial grounds to the public. That remains at the discretion of the burial authority.

Funeral services

The regulations provide that except to the extent that a person has a reasonable excuse, no person may leave the place where they are living. The regulations set out that it is a reasonable excuse for the following people to attend a funeral service:

  • members of the deceased’s household;
  • close family members of the deceased: or
  • if no-one in the above two categories is attending, a friend of the deceased.

Adherence to these regulations and wider NHS Inform advice on social distancing is important to help stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) amongst communities.

In line with wider public health advice, in person attendance of funeral services should be kept to the minimum number of people possible.

24 March 2020

The health and wellbeing of our colleagues and visitors remains to be paramount to us. We are following NHS and Scottish Government advice and as such, from Tuesday 24 March we will be implementing the following at Woodside Crematorium:

Congregation Size: Both Woodside and Martyrs Chapel will have maximum capacity of 20 people and will adhere to social distancing with seats being two meters apart.

Waiting Room: This will be closed but toilet facilities will remain available.

Family Attending Dispersal of Ashes: We will postpone the dispersal of ashes. If a family would prefer to do this sooner, we would advise a maximum of two people attending.

Martyrs Chapel Webcast Facility: Work is scheduled to install a webcast facility at Martyrs Chapel on Friday 27 March.

We will continue to observe new guidelines from the NHS and Scottish Government and will update you as and when further changes are made.

We appreciate your support at this difficult time.

19 March 2020

Mother’s Day

Given the current situation with Covid-19, and being mindful of the wellbeing of our community and staff members, we have decided not to open the Remembrance Room this Mother’s Day. The gardens of remembrance will be open should you wish to visit. Apologies for any inconvenience.


There are currently no restrictions on congregation size; however, some mourners are taking the difficult decision not to attend the funeral of a loved one. Since the refurbishment, Woodside crematorium has the ability to offer a Webcast and during the COVID-19 outbreak we will offer a discount on this service.

Information for the congregation   

We would ask mourners to stay in their cars or wait outside and not meet in the waiting room. The waiting room will remain open to allow for the congregation to wash their hands.

17 March 2020

The Scottish Government has advised all events of 500 people or more are cancelled. Although services of this size are rare, we are drawing attention to this to ensure we can comply with government advice.

We have also put in place a number of proactive and preventative measures to inhibit the spread of COVID-19.

Whilst it can feel strange not to greet somebody with a handshake, we would recommend mourners avoid shaking hands to reduce the spread of the virus.

As an additional precaution, we are withdrawing hymn books and song sheets from our chapels, with attendees asked to use order of services instead.

Cremation chapels will also be sanitised between services.

We will keep you updated on any changes or developments as we do our utmost to navigate this situation, however if you have any further questions, please do get in touch.