How the Coronavirus is affecting Births, Deaths and Marriages

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) we have had to change the way we process registrations. For further information please see our updates below.

Birth Registrations

Please note that if your baby was born at Northwick Park Hospital you will need to register the birth with the London Borough of Brent this is regardless of where you reside.

At present we are not taking any bookings for birth declarations.

Death Registrations

Following advice from Government regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, all of our face to face registrations and ceremonial services have been suspended until further notice.

Until further notice deaths will be registered by telephone appointment.

There will be no requirement for relatives to collect the Medical Cause of Death Certificate from the hospital, care home or GP.

A scan of the signed certificate can be sent directly to the registrar at [email protected]

If the Coroner was involved, the Coroner will email our office with the relevant document. The informant will need to contact us to book a telephone appointment to register the death on 0208 901 2665.

The green certificate for burial/cremation will be emailed to the Funeral Director or the informant once the death is registered.

The cost of each death certificate is £11 and will be posted to the informant. There is no requirement for the informant to attend our office in person. The office will be closed to the public.

For details of how burials are affected, see Burials Frequently Asked Questions.

Marriages and civil partnership ceremonies

Marriages and civil partnership ceremonies have been postponed until after the current lockdown ends.

Burials Frequently Asked Questions

Will Burial Chapels still remain open?

Unfortunately due the current Covid-19 pandemic, all burial chapels will remain closed until further notice.

Can I book a weekend burial?

There are no weekend burials at present, with the exception being only on religious grounds. Such requests for weekend burials on religious grounds must be made and confirmed by Friday 12 noon.

How many people/mourners can attend a graveside funeral?

Please note that a maximum of only 15 mourners will be permitted to attend the graveside when a funeral director is involved in transporting the deceased. This is despite government guidelines which permit up to 30. These should only be members of the deceased person’s household or close family members and includes those required to carry the coffin/person.

Do I still need to adhere to the social distancing rules that have been put in place by the government?

Those who do attend will need to wear masks and adhere to social distancing at all times, including when travelling to and from the funeral, and standing no less than 2m from each other.

What are the steps that need to be taken if the person has passed away from Covid-19 or what if I have symptoms of Covid-19?

There is a small but real risk of transmission from the body of a deceased person, mourners must not to take part in any rituals or practices that bring them into close contact with the body of a person who has died from or with symptoms of COVID-19.

Will families still be allowed to backfill?

Unfortunately due the current Covid-19 pandemic, families will not be able to backfill.

Will soil boxes be provided for families?

Unfortunately due the current Covid-19 pandemic, soil boxes will not be provided for the families.

How long can I spend at the graveside during the funeral service?

All Graveside services have been reduced to 20 minutes, and all persons must then leave the site straight after this time.

Due to the current circumstances, can the families record the burial?

Yes, due to the current situation, families are permitted to record the funeral service.

Will staff approach the grave while the service is going on?

Staff will not approach the grave while others are present to prevent risk.

Can I make any interaction with the coffin during the service?

Mourners and attendees are advised not to touch, kiss or come into contact with the coffin.

How will Books of Remembrance and scattering/burial of ashes been affected?

In these unprecedented times, the following will also be in place for the foreseeable future:

  • Stop viewings of and updates to the Book of Remembrance
  • Any scattering and burial of ashes will be subject to the same maximum numbers of mourners (5) and social distancing rules.

What advice is there for funeral directors and officiants?

We would be grateful if Funeral Directors and Officiants would support us in implementing these changes to allow us to continue our service delivery, as failure to do so may result in us being unable to operate at all.

Can we delay funerals for a later date?

Unfortunately due to these unprecedented times, we are not able to delay burials for later dates. Further changes to this policy may be made based on risk and Government Guidance

A message from us at Harrow Council

Harrow Council would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere and heartfelt sympathy and empathy to the bereaved at what we know is already a difficult time. These changes are required to ensure current legislation is adhered to and to help protect us all.