Can I attend someone's funeral during the lockdown?


Recent amendments made to SA's Disaster Management Act addresses the matter of funeral attendance during the national lockdown period.

Yes, members of the public are allowed to attend funerals provided that -

•No more than 50 people will be in attendance. 
•No night vigil will be held beforehand.
•Those in attendance will adhere to social distancing guidelines and continue to take precautionary measures. 

However, amendments made to the Disaster Management Act (2nd of April) now allow for the movement between provinces, metropolitans, or district areas for burial purposes (to transport the body or attend the funeral).

This exemption is only applicable to the following groups:

  • The spouse or partner of the deceased
  • Children of the deceased -  biological, adopted or stepchildren.
  • Children-in-law of the deceased;
  • Parents of the deceased - whether biological, adopted or stepparents;
  • Siblings of the deceased - whether biological, adopted or stepsiblings.
  • Grandparents of the deceased; and
  • Persons closely affiliated with the deceased - "a person with parental responsibilities and rights in respect of the deceased" or "a person who had developed a significant relationship based on caregiving, psychological or emotional attachment to the deceased".


Anyone wanting to leave town or cross provinces to attend a funeral must apply for a permit by filling out a form (listed as Form 2 in the gazette). This can be done at the nearest magistrate’s office or police station and would require the death certificate or a sworn affidavit should the applicant not have the original document. 

The document also mentions that only 2 individuals (with a close affiliation to the deceased) may, with the required permits, accompany the vehicle transporting the body to the location where the burial or cremation is to take place.

You may not stay at a relative or friend's house while in another town or province. You are, however, allowed to stay at a hotel, lodge or guest house for a maximum of 48 hours before returning to your own residence.  

Read: When are we allowed to leave the house during lockdown?

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