Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Registrars
Advice from General Register Office for England and Wales
The Government has now introduced new measures that require people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes, and is also stopping all public gatherings of more than two people. In addition, the Government is stopping social events, including weddings, baptisms and other religious ceremonies. This will exclude funerals, which can be attended by immediate family.
Every citizen must comply with these new measures and further details on these can be found on: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
For the purposes of Civil Registration in England & Wales, in light of these new measures, the following guidance applies:
- Birth registration appointments will be deferred until we are through the current pandemic period.
- You can make a claim for child benefit or universal credit prior to the birth being registered, where you have not been able to do so because of these measures.
- Customers would normally be expected to book their citizenship ceremony within three months of being sent an invitation from the Home Office. Due to the current pandemic circumstances UKVI have extended this period to six months and will keep this under constant review. Customers should be advised that no adverse decisions will be made on applications because of delays caused by Coronavirus.
- Marriage and Civil Partnership ceremonies will no longer be undertaken in line with the Prime Ministers announcement.
- Notices of Marriage and Civil Partnership will be deferred until we are through the current pandemic period.
- Powys County Council have decided that Registration Staff will not conduct Registrar General Licence weddings during the pandemic period to ensure the health and safety of staff and clients.
- Applications to reduce the waiting period for marriages or civil partnerships will no longer be processed. Any applications received or in progress will be refunded.
- The Emergency Bill, containing a wide range of measures, successfully passed through the House of Commons yesterday and is being debated in the House of Lords.
- The introduction of the clauses in this Bill will allow for easements in the death registration process and allow amongst other measures for the registration of deaths over the telephone.
- This also applies for the registration of Still-Births which can similarly be conducted over the telephone.
- It is anticipated that this legislation will be commenced later this week to allow the move away from face to face registrations.
As you can appreciate the situation is moving very quickly and we recognise that this notice may not answer all the questions you may have. We will be issuing further guidance in the coming days to provide further support.