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11 April 2021

Harry can break quarantine to attend grandfather’s funeral on ‘compassionate grounds’

11 April 2021

The Duke of Sussex is entitled to attend his grandfather’s funeral due to a provision in the law that allows mourners to leave quarantine on “compassionate” grounds.

The palace confirmed on Saturday the duke would be making the journey, although Meghan – who is heavily pregnant with their second child – has been advised against flying.

It is understood he will be following all procedure to ensure he complies with Covid-19 regulations.

But as the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral is due to take place next Saturday, Harry will not have time to complete the quarantine period.

The rules, however, do allow a person to temporarily leave their place of quarantine on compassionate grounds – which includes funerals.

Guidance published on the Government’s website states: “You can leave your place of self-isolation in limited circumstances, including on compassionate grounds.

“This includes attending a funeral of a household member, a close family member or a friend (if neither household member or close family member can attend the funeral).”

It adds: “You must continue to self-isolate at all other times.”

Harry will have to return a negative coronavirus test result in the three days before travel, and  complete a passenger locator form with details of where he will be spending his quarantine.

He will also have to book a travel test package, which involves two tests – one to be taken on or before the second day of his quarantine, and the second on or after his eighth day of quarantine.

The test package serial number must be included on his passenger locator form.

Harry could also participate in the “Test to Release” scheme.

Under the scheme, if he pays for a private test from an approved supplier five days into quarantine, he may be free to leave if the result is negative.

Tests cost around £130.

Duke of Edinburgh death (PA Media)

If Harry were to break the quarantine rules, he risks a penalty of up to £10,000, and if he fails to take the tests on day two and day eight, he could be fined a maximum of £2,000.

Some commentators have said the funeral will perhaps allow Harry to spend some quality time with his brother in the wake of his and Meghan’s bombshell Oprah Winfrey interview.

But as they are from different households, they will still have to maintain social distancing.

The guidelines state: “Stay at least two metres away from others outside your household or support bubble.”

A spokesman for the palace said the royals would be following the guidance throughout the funeral.

Mourners are also advised to be respectful of those who are clinically vulnerable from Covid-19 and “avoid close contact at any point” – potentially limiting his time with his 94-year-old grandmother.

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