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Covid-19 Flintshire Registration Service

Update 29.06.20

Marriage and Civil Partnership
Marriage and civil partnership ceremonies at the Register Office will resume from 1 July, 2020.  
We are following the advice and guidance from Welsh Government on social distancing and public behaviour.  This means the content and format of marriage and civil partnership ceremonies has been reviewed and we have introduced restrictions on the number of people permitted in our ceremony rooms at one time.   

Physical distancing will help ensure that officers and visitors are safe and to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
 
The maximum number of people permitted in each room is:
• Register Office – 6 people
• Ceremony Room – 11 people
These figures include two Registrars and the couple.

We will contact couples who have booked a ceremony on a month by month basis.  Our priority is to resume ceremonies that are scheduled to take place at the Register Office in July and August before accepting new bookings from September onwards.  All bookings will be subject to availability.

Until we receive more information from Welsh Government, we cannot currently conduct ceremonies at approved premises (i.e. hotels).   We appreciate this uncertainty makes planning difficult and we are very sorry for all couples who are affected by this situation.

Here are some useful questions and answers for couples:
Q1 From what date can marriages be solemnized, and civil partnerships formed? 
In Wales marriages can be solemnized and civil partnerships formed from 22 June.  In England this can take place from 4 July.  

Q2 Where a person is shielding, can a marriage be solemnized, or a civil partnership formation take place remotely by video conferencing technology?
No, there is no provision within current legislation for a virtual marriage or civil partnership to take place.

Q3 Can couples who have already given notice proceed with their marriage / civil partnership if they wish to do so?
Yes, as long as the authorities are still valid and the venue remains the same.  

Q4 What happens if a notice has been previously given for a venue that is now closed? 
A fresh notice is required if the venue changes for a marriage or civil partnership. 

Q5 The grounds of the register office are lovely – as there is less risk outside can the ceremony take place there instead? 
No. A marriage or civil partnership must take place within the venue as detailed on the notice and authority, and as specified in the approval of the premises.  The outside space is not included as part of the venue.  

Q6 Why can’t witnesses use video technology to witness the ceremony?
There is still a requirement within legislation for 2 witnesses to attend to witness a marriage or civil partnership and then sign the register.  

Births
Registrations for births that occurred in Flintshire will resume from 1 July, 2020. 
Provision has now been made for the registration of births to be undertaken by telephone in-part.  This will help us to follow the Government’s guidance on social distancing and public behaviour.  To complete the registration, a parent/parents must sign the register in person at the Register Office and we will discuss the arrangements for this when booking an appointment. 
 
For registration of babies born in other counties, please contact the Register Office in the county where the birth occurred e.g.
• Wrexham Maelor Hospital – 01978 298997
• Glan Clwyd Hospital – 01824 708100
• Countess of Chester Hospital – 01244 972668

To make an appointment for telephone registration please call the Register Office on 01352 703333.

Parents can continue to make a claim for child benefit or universal credit prior to the birth being registered, where they have not been able to do so because of these measures. 
Further information can be found on https://www.gov.uk/child-benefit/how-to-claim

Deaths and Still-Births
Provision has now been made for the registration of deaths to be undertaken by telephone. This will help the Registration Service follow the Government’s guidance on essential travel, social distancing and public behaviour.  The Registration Service is also working closely with health practitioners to share information electronically to remove the requirement for bereaved families to visit the Register Officer during the current emergency situation.
 
To make an appointment for telephone registration please call the Register Office on 01352 703333.