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Registration, bereavement care and coroner services during Coronavirus

The city council provides registration, bereavement care and coroner services for residents. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and in line with the latest Government guidance, some temporary changes to how the services operate are being made this includes extended opening times and only cashless payments will be taken only by Registration and Bereavement Care Services. Please return to this page for the most up-to-date information.

Registration, bereavement care and coroner services during Coronavirus

Registration Services

For an appointment to register a birth or a death please book either:

For all other enquiries please email register.office@stoke.gov.uk.

  • Admittance to the Registration Service at Civic Centre in Stoke is by appointment only, the walk in service remains closed.
  • Death registrations including still births continue to be registered via telephone. Please book for an appointment, the Registrar will then call you within one hour of your appointment time to complete the registration.
  • Birth Registrations can now be completed face to face at the Register Office at the Civic Centre, please book online or call for an appointment.
  • Notice of marriage and civil partnership appointments are now available please complete our online enquiry form and a registrar will contact you.
  • Marriage and Civil partnership ceremonies. From 19th July all restrictions of the number of guests permitted to attend a wedding will be lifted and will be subject to the capacity of the room booked all couples should be advised to check with their venue.
  • If you have a ceremony booked or wish to enquire about booking a ceremony please email register.office@stoke.gov.uk
  • Citizenship ceremonies can now be held with guests in attendance subject to availability.
  • All activities are subject to the latest government advice on social distancing which is under constant review. 

Burial and cremation

Attendance at Carmountside

During the current pandemic period the city council has been committed to ensuring the bereaved are treated with sensitivity, dignity and respect whilst making sure mourners and workers involved in the management of funerals are protected from infection.

  • From 19 July 2021 the maximum number of mourners attending funeral services at Carmountside Chapel will return to pre lockdown numbers, which is approximately 140 seated. When all seats are taken, we are re-introducing the use of our external speakers on larger funerals.
  • The requirement to wear face coverings law will be lifted. However, we advise that face coverings are still worn where possible, especially at larger funerals.
  • Hand sanitiser and the NHS Track and Trace QR code are located outside the chapel, if mourners can continue to use them to support NHS Test & Trace.

The live webcast service is available at an additional cost, the easy to use live streaming service is available for up to 150 viewers per service enabling them to watch from the safety of their own home and giving the reassurance of their presence at the service.  28 day watch again facilities, DVD and Blue-Ray recordings are also available at an additional cost.

Burials

There is no restrictions on the number of mourners attending a burial. 

General guidance

People who have symptoms of COVID-19 (a new continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell) should not attend a funeral because they pose a risk to others.

People who are legally required to self-isolate (see exemption below)

Any person who has been instructed by NHS Test Trace to self-isolate because they have tested positive for COVID-19, or they are the close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 should not attend a funeral because they pose a risk to others. It is a legal offence for a person who is required to self-isolate to attend a funeral except under limited exemptions.

People with a legal duty to self-isolate are:

● Anyone who is notified that they have tested positive for COVID-19. They must self-isolate (stay at home) for the period ending 10 days after they first developed symptoms or, if they did not have symptoms when they took a coronavirus test, 10 days after the date of the test.

● Anyone who is notified that another member of their household or support bubble has tested positive. They must stay at home for the period ending 10 days after that household or support bubble member’s symptoms began or, if they did not have symptoms when they took a coronavirus test, 10 days after the date of the test.

● Anyone who is instructed by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate because of close recent contact with a person outside their household or support bubble who has tested positive for COVID-19. They must stay at home for the period instructed by NHS Test and Trace (which will end 10 days after the point of most recent contact with the person who has tested positive).

Guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus infection is available.

Close family members of the deceased are exempted from the legal requirement to self isolate to attend a funeral ceremony.  In this instance, we would strongly recommend that mourner(s) do not attend in person but are instead advised to attend virtually, for example through a video link.

If, after very careful consideration and with awareness of the risks they may pose to others, a mourner who is required to self-isolate chooses to attend the funeral of a close family member it is essential that all of the following precautions are taken:

● advising the funeral organiser and other mourners that they are in their self-isolation period, and ensuring that they do not attend at the same time as another mourner who may be clinically vulnerable or clinically extremely vulnerable

● maintaining a distance of at least 2 metres between themselves and others at all times

● practising strict hand and respiratory hygiene by:

○ washing their hands more often than usual with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use a hand sanitiser

○ avoiding touching their eyes, nose and mouth

○ covering their coughs or sneezes

○ wearing a surgical grade Type IIR face mask or higher grade, properly fitting, to minimise any risk of viral transmission from the isolating individual. If a respirator mask is used (for example N95), this should be non-valved.

Mourners in the clinically vulnerable or extremely clinically vulnerable groups should adhere to rigorous hand and respiratory hygiene and social distancing at all times but particularly whilst out of the home environment. It is important that the organiser of the funeral advises other attendees that there is an extremely clinically vulnerable person attending and reiterating the need to stay at home if they are unwell, and to be respectful of the vulnerable person’s need to avoid close contact at any point.