SWANSEA’s busy registrars’ service has re-opened for weddings and birth registrations after more than three months on hold due to the pandemic.
Weddings are now taking place at the register office at Civic Centre under new measures designed to keep guests and staff safe.
And parents of newborns will be able to visit the registrar’s office by appointment to complete the Registration of the children they’ve welcomed into the world recently.
Mark Thomas, the Cabinet member for Environment Enhancement and Infrastructure Management, said the easing of lockdown restrictions means that weddings and birth registrations can get going again but the arrangements will be different to the way they were before.
Visitors will be told what the restrictions are when they book their appointment or wedding, but he said: “It’s welcome news for the many couples whose wedding plans were upset by the coronavirus outbreak and for families of hundreds of new-borns who have still to register the births.
“Although the registrars’ service has not been operating as normal during the pandemic, the team has done an amazing job staying in touch with couples wishing to get married and parents wishing to register their new-borns.
“Due to the pandemic, the service was forced to close its doors and work mainly via email and on the telephone. They have done a lot of work to continue to support bereaved families who have needed to register the details of those who have passed on.”
He said: “In many cases, the service has already re-arranged cancelled weddings as far forward as next year and existing bookings which haven’t been affected so far by the pandemic will now be able to go ahead.
“But it’s unlikely that we’ll be able to take new bookings for weddings before September while we deal with the bookings that were cancelled as a result of the pandemic.
Throughout the pandemic, the registrars’ service has been keeping in touch with couples seeking to get wed by email and phone to manage hundreds of re-arranged nuptials.
While those who have booked weddings at the Civic Centre will see their events go ahead under the re-arranged conditions, couples will need to contact churches or other approved venues to check if those locations are re-opening.
Parents registering births have been able to submit information throughout the pandemic via an online form. However, there’s a legal requirement for them to complete the process in person. The registrars’ service will contact parents to make arrangements for a socially-distanced visit to the office.
Cllr Thomas said: “Now that the registrar’s service has re-opened, people can imagine that it will be very busy. So we’d urge those who need to use the service to be as patient as possible.
“While it’s great news that couples who’ve waited so long can now get married and parents can now register their new children, the virus is still very much with us so it’s important that people observe the new arrangements being put in place to help keep everyone safe.”