Since the start of the pandemic, Melbourne has been in and out of lockdown. The social gathering restrictions have left grieving families wondering what's allowed with Melbourne funerals during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how to remain COVIDsafe while farewelling  loved one.

This article explains what the Victorian Government’s coronavirus restrictions mean for planning a funeral or memorial in Melbourne during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Melbourne funerals during COVID-19 restrictions

The spread of COVID is causing further heartbreak for Australians after a loved one dies, particularly with tough funeral restrictions observed in Melbourne and greater Victoria throughout the lockdowns.

At the time of writing, rules for attending a funeral in Melbourne were as follows:

Are there restrictions on funerals in Melbourne and Victoria?

Places of worship (including churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, etc) throughout Victoria are open to full capacity.  A density quotient does not apply, however attendees must check in via the Service Victoria app.


Restrictions to Melbourne funerals will ease under the Victorian Government’s Coronavirus Road to Recovery plan towards ‘COVID Normal’.
Capacity restrictions on people attending funerals in Melbourne during COVID lockdowns are heartbreaking for grieving families.

Do I need to be vaccinated to attend a funeral in Melbourne?

Mandatory vaccination requirements do not apply to people attending places of worship, weddings and funerals unless the ceremony takes place in an open premises (for example, a function centre), according to the latest Victorian Government information at January 5, 2022.

Do I need to wear a mask to attend a funeral in Melbourne?

Wearing a mask is required for everyone aged 8 and above in all indoor settings in Victoria at all times (except at home), including churches and other places of worship, unless an exception applies.

According to Victorian Government advice, it is strongly recommended that a face mask is worn outdoors, if you can’t physically distance, have any symptoms, or if you are with people who may be vulnerable to COVID-19.

Do I need to check in with a QR code to attend a funeral?

Visitors and workers at all Victorian places of worship, businesses and hospitality venues, must use the Victorian Government QR Code Service to check-in, with some limited exceptions.


Restrictions on Melbourne funerals during coronavirus mean fewer people can support those grieving.
Restrictions on Melbourne funerals during coronavirus mean fewer people can support those grieving.

Memorials and wakes during Melbourne's COVID restrictions

Under Melbourne's COVID-19 restrictions, memorials and wakes are classified separately from funerals. A funeral or memorial held at a home or venue, or outdoor location in metropolitan Melbourne and greater Victoria is restricted to any private gathering limits in place.

Similarly, memorials and wakes at a home or private residence must also follow household gathering rules.

A wake or memorial held at a venue, such as a restaurant or community centre, will depend on the current rules for hospitality trading and density quota (if applicable). At the time of writing, there were no such restrictions in place.

Visit the Victorian Government's website for the most up-to-date information about cafes and restaurants during Melbourne's COVID restrictions, available here.

Other information about funerals during COVID

The rules and health advice around social gatherings are frequently changing as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic evolve. Visit the Victorian Government's website for the most up-to-date information about Melbourne's COVID-19 restrictions. Information on Melbourne's COVID funeral restrictions is available here, and the latest information about Melbourne's COVID social gathering restrictions is available.

Many families are planning a direct cremation when a loved one passes, without an attended ceremony. Then, once the ashes have been returned and it is safer to come together, a memorial or celebration of life is arranged to honour the deceased. To learn more, visit bare.com.au or call 1800 071 176.

For creative ideas on farewelling a loved one during lockdown, read our article here.

Learn about how the coronavirus has changed the way we say goodbye, in our article here.

If you or anyone you know needs support call Lifeline on 131 114, or Beyond Blue's coronavirus mental wellbeing support service on 1800 512 348.