The latest government guidance on helping to prevent the spread of Covid-19 means that we are changing the way our service operates during this period.
Suspension of marriage and civil partnership ceremonies during Covid-19
The UK Government announced strict new measures on 23 March 2020 relating to essential travel, social distancing and public behaviour including restrictions on the celebration of marriages and civil partnerships. It is with regret that the Herefordshire Registration Service has therefore suspended all ceremonies until further notice.
We appreciate that this decision will be extremely disappointing. We trust couples will understand the need for everyone to follow the strict new measures introduced to protect us all during this unprecedented worldwide pandemic and the Registration Service will work with you to reschedule your ceremony. We do not know however when these restrictions will be removed and therefore we will contact you in the near future and as soon as the situation is clearer.
Update 12 May 2020
You may have read in the UK Government's Our Plan to Rebuild strategy document that in 4.2 Step Two, starting no earlier than 1 June 2020, there is section under the heading ‘Social and Family contact’ that says…….
‘The government is also examining how to enable people to gather in slightly larger groups to better facilitate small weddings.’
We don't yet know what is likely to be classed as small weddings. Legally, the minimum that would need to be present would be the couple, two witnesses and two registrars. We don't yet know whether this is the definition of 'small'. Similarly, we do not know when ‘small’ will be clarified. Once we have further details we will be able to confirm the situation and options available to you.
We are currently waiting for this further clarification from the UK Government and The Registrar General regarding marriages and civil partnerships. As soon as we have more clarity we will of course let you know too. In the meantime, if you decide the safe option for you (and only you know what is right for you and your family) is to look at new dates, then please speak with your venue and take your lead from them, and then email firstname.lastname@example.org
Registering a death during Covid-19
The process for registering a death has changed during the current coronavirus outbreak.
The doctor certifying the death will now send the medical certificate of cause of death electronically to the register office on your behalf.
You will need to contact the register office on 01432 260565 to arrange for a call back from a registrar to register the death.
All of the details will now be taken over the telephone rather than being recorded by a visit to the register office and you will be asked to provide the following information:
- Date of death
- Place of death
- Full name and surname of deceased and maiden surname if applicable
- Date and place of birth of deceased
- Full name of spouse if applicable
The Registrar will then send the necessary paperwork directly to the Funeral Director and advise you of a service called Tell Us Once - a process which will enable you to notify all of the government departments at once without having to provide a death certificate.
There is no fee for registering a death. Death certificates are available to purchase at a cost of £11 each.
You will also receive a certificate of registration of death (form BD8) for social security purposes.
Registering a birth during Covid-19
All birth registration appointments will be deferred until we are through the current pandemic period.
You will still be able to make a claim for child benefit and universal credit before the birth is registered. Making a new claim for universal credit will affect existing claims for Tax Credits or Housing Benefit. Please get advice from a benefits advisor if you are not sure what to claim.
If you are unsure about anything please contact the office on 01432 260565.