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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Register Office services

Due to government guidance on social distancing and the threat of coronavirus, some births, deaths and marriages services are affected.

Contents

  1. Face coverings
  2. Copies of certificates
  3. Marriages and civil partnerships
  4. Notice of Marriage and Civil Partnership 
  5. Registering a death
  6. Registering a birth
  7. Funerals
  8. Cemeteries and the crematorium

Face coverings

Guests must wear a face covering when attending a funeral, wedding or civil partnership ceremony at a Register Office, place of worship or other approved venue. 

The bride, groom and civil partners are not required to wear a face covering.

There are exemptions. See government guidance on face coverings.

Copies of certificates

We have restarted our copy of birth, death or marriage certificate service, with some changes.

Our same day certificate service remains suspended.

Copies of certificates cannot be purchased at the counter and must be ordered by telephone on 0191 424 6350. 

We are currently accepting card payments only (no cash, cheques or postal orders).

Marriages and civil partnerships

Marriage ceremonies, civil partnership ceremonies and conversion of civil partnerships into marriage cannot take place during the national restrictions from 5 November 2020. 

The only exception to this is where one of the couple is seriously ill and is not expected to recover. These ceremonies can take place under a Registrar General's Licence and must have no more than 6 people attending. Government has confirmed that the maximum of 6 people includes the couple, the witnesses and the officiants.

We will contact all couples who have a ceremony booked during the period of national restrictions to advise on options for rescheduling and support you through this process.

Notice of Marriage and Civil Partnership 

This service will continue by strict appointment only during the period of the national restrictions, however, we will be prioritising couples whose ceremonies have been cancelled or affected by Covid-19 to allow them to rebook and give new Notice of Marriage or Civil Partnership where needed.

Registering a death

You can register a death by making a telephone appointment. Find out more about registering a death.

Registering a birth

  • Birth registrations have restarted, with changes in place
  • A new system has been put in place to allow outstanding birth registrations to be as quickly as possible whilst following social distancing guidelines
  • Registrations will be appointment only
  • Availability will be staggered based on the date of the birth of the child. This will allow earlier births to be registered first
  • Parents of unregistered babies will receive a letter inviting them to contact the Register Office on 0191 4277000 to make an appointment. If you are a South Tyneside resident and your baby was born in Sunderland, you will also receive a letter to allow your baby's birth to be registered at the Register Office in South Tyneside

If you are attending an appointment to register a birth, please follow the strict social distancing guidelines below:

  • If you are married or in a civil partnership only one parent should attend to register the birth
  • If you are not married or in a civil partnership both parents should attend
  • For the safety of your family and Register Office staff you should not bring your baby, other children or family members to the appointment with you. If you bring any other person to the appointment, they will not be able to access to the Register Office
  • If you or any one you live with are displaying any symptoms of Covid-19 you should not attend and you should contact us to rearrange your appointment
  • If you are showing symptoms when you attend your appointment you will be asked to leave and to rearrange your appointment
  • You will be asked to sanitise your hands when entering the Register Office and before leaving
  • A strict one-way system is in place and must be followed
  • Copy birth certificates can be purchased at your appointment which cost £11 each. We are currently accepting card payments only (no cash or cheques)

More detailed information will be provided by a Registrar when you book your appointment.

Funerals

According to national guidance, the maximum number of people that can attend a funeral is 30.

For cremations at South Shields Crematorium, there is a maximum of 15 people allowed inside the chapel (due to the size of the chapel), as well as 15 people outside.

For burials at cemeteries in South Tyneside, up to 30 people are allowed at the graveside.

Social distancing must be adhered to at all times whilst attending funerals.

Masks or face coverings must be worn in all Council buildings, this includes South Shields Crematorium.

For advice and guidance contact Bereavement Services on 0191 427 3190.

Cemeteries and the crematorium

Cemeteries and the crematorium are open.

Due to government guidance on social distancing, the Roll of Remembrance Chapel and Flower Chapel at South Shields Crematorium are closed until further notice.

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