Register Office - COVID-19 service updates

At these unprecedented times it is our priority to continue to deliver registration services as best as we can with Government guidelines in mind. Your health and the health of our partners is a priority for us, so at this time there will be amended ways of working.

Update 22 September 2020

The Prime Ministers announcement of 22 September 2020 has introduced further measures to suppress the COVID-19 virus.

These mean that from 28 September 2020 in England all weddings, civil partnership ceremonies and any associated receptions will be restricted to 15 people. It has been clarified that this maximum number includes all those attending, including the couple, witnesses and guests. However anyone working, for example officiants, photographers, security, staff employed by the venue, third-party suppliers or catering staff are not included. 

In Wales there has been no change to the existing guidance which states that as the marriage or civil partnership itself must take place indoors it is the capacity of the building or room (once physical distancing measures are taken into account) which will determine the size of the invitation list and therefore the numbers who can gather.

Update 31 July 2020

The Government has updated the guidance and FAQs on face coverings at weddings and civil partnerships in England, visit the GOV.UK website for more information on the guidance, to confirm these include those taking place in register offices or other approved venues, as from 8 August 2020.  

Update 29 June 2020

This guidance is designed to assist people planning to get married or form a civil partnership in England, and venues that host such ceremonies, to prepare for small ceremonies to be allowed to restart, in accordance with the associated legislation which will come into effect on 4 July 2020.

The guidance sets out how this can be done in a manner that is safe and in line with social distancing guidelines, in order to minimise the risk of exposure to infection for all individuals attending the marriage or civil partnership, including those who work at the venues.

At present, legally-valid ceremonies or formations are strongly advised to go ahead only where they can be done in a COVID-19 secure environment. It is also advised that the ceremonies are kept as short as reasonably possible and limited as far as reasonably possible to the parts of the ceremonies that are required in order for the marriage or civil partnership to be legally binding. No more than thirty people should attend a marriage or civil partnership, where this can be safely accommodated with social distancing in a COVID-19 secure venue.

Any receptions that typically follow or accompany marriages or civil partnerships are strongly advised not to take place at this time. Small celebrations should only take place if following social distancing guidelines – i.e. in groups of up to two households indoors, or up to six people from different households outdoors.

The government is working with the wedding and civil partnership celebration industry on how receptions that typically follow or accompany marriages and civil partnerships could take place safely in the future. Every licensed venue that hold civil ceremonies will be required to each have their own COVID-19 Risk Assessment permitting a safe environment.

Some venues may wish to defer commencing civil ceremonies until restrictions are further reduced, therefore all couples should check with their venue whether they intend to re-open at this time, to hold smaller ceremonies.

Update 23 June 2020
Further to today’s announcement that marriages and civil partnership ceremonies can re-commence as from 4 July 2020, registration staff will be permitted to have face to face appointments for the completion of legal notices of marriage and civil partnerships.

  • Priority for legal notices will be for ceremonies booked over the next two calendar months – registration staff will contact all relevant parties by Friday 26 June 2020.
  • We will then contact all couples directly who had ceremonies booked during the lockdown period or deferred their ceremony to later this year.

Staff will advise you whether there is a  requirement to re-attend your local office to complete legal notices and also confirm the numbers of guests permitted to attend under the latest Government guidance for group gatherings.

Please be patient with us as there may be a slight delay in contacting everyone due to the demands being placed on the registration team presently.

You can email if your enquiry is urgent.

We have been advised by the Government that we can re-introduce face to face birth registrations. All the necessary health and safety precautions have been put in place, to ensure the safety of our customers and employees. We have therefore commenced completing some birth appointments. You will be asked to confirm that you or your household have no COVID-19 symptoms to be able to attend the register office.

Please note: the usual time limit of registering baby’s birth within 42 days (6 weeks) of the date of birth, will also be deferred.

Whilst COVID-19 restrictions are in place, you can now make a claim for child benefit or universal credit without the birth being registered.

View more information about registering a birth.

During the current emergency, priority must be given to death certification, registration and disposal processes. Every effort should be made to ensure deaths are registered as soon as possible, ideally within the 5 day target.

As a result, the next of kin should be advised to check that the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death or necessary paperwork from the Coroner is being emailed to the Register Office:


Please note: this is a new email address set up specifically for this purpose.

They should then be advised to go online to book a telephone appointment or alternatively you can book an appointment by phone 01952 382444. Face to face registrations have been stopped until further notice.

The Registrar will then phone the family at the allocated time and complete the registration over the phone. Death certificates will be paid for over the phone or online and will be posted directly to them from the office.

All burials for our cemeteries should continue to be booked in the normal way, using the online booking system and submitting form 1 and form 2 with the supporting scanned documents.

Please advise families that only immediate family can attend the cemetery - suggesting spouse, children and/or parents and a maximum of 10 people to attend.

The time allocated at the cemetery from arrival at the cemetery gates to leaving the cemetery will be a maximum of 45 minutes.

At the current time the paperwork to evidence the deceased's details will still be retained by the site technicians at the time of burial but placed in plastic folders.

If you have any queries please contact the staff by email

Why you should stay at home