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Work begins to register the backlog of births of over 3,700 babies born in Surrey during the coronavirus pandemic

From 6 July work begins to register the backlog of over 3,700 births of babies born in Surrey over the past three months since coronavirus began. Registration services are reopening with residents able to book appointments from 6 July to register births and get married. Camberley and Reigate offices remain closed, but appointments can be made at Guildford, Leatherhead and Weybridge register offices.

Although a law was passed that allows deaths to be registered over the phone, birth registrations, marriage notices and ceremonies have not been able to take place since register offices closed in March due to coronavirus.

Parents of over 3,700 babies born in Surrey over the last three months will now be able to register their child’s birth officially. Although the 42-day time frame to register a birth was relaxed, the law still required births to be registered face to face. In order to keep everybody safe, if the child’s parents are married or in a civil partnership then only one parent should attend the appointment and children, or additional adults should not attend.

Anyone with a marriage or civil partnership booked in Surrey in the next three months can now book an appointment from 6 July to give notice. Giving notice of intent to marry is a legal requirement and it is important to prioritise those who have marriages or civil partnerships booked imminently.

Marriage ceremonies and civil partnerships can now take place at register offices in Guildford, Leatherhead or Weybridge, but they might not be as lavish as the couple had originally planned. Although the Government has announced that a maximum of 30 people can attend – this number includes the couple themselves, witnesses, registrars and any staff not employed by the venue such as photographers and catering staff. This maximum number is also only possible where it can be safely accommodated with social distancing in a COVID secure venue. For ceremonies taking place in ceremony rooms at our open register offices we can only accommodate an additional four to six guests depending on the office.

The Government has also advised that ceremonies and services should be concluded in the shortest reasonable time. This means they will be limited as far as reasonably possible to the parts of the marriage or civil partnership that are required in order to be legally binding under the law of England and Wales.

For more information about registration services in Surrey please visit www.surreycc.gov.uk/birth-death-and-ceremonies

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