Registrars

Due to the new legislation issued by Welsh Government on Monday 22nd June we will now undertake birth registrations and notices of marriage.

Both registrations for birth and the taking of notices of marriage will require a face to face appointment, in the registry office at the Civic Centre, Pontypool.  Access will only be granted if you have a pre-arranged appointment and social distancing measures must be adhered to at all times.

Birth Registrations

  • The registration of births will take place by appointment only
  • Appointments will be staggered to limit the amount of people in the registrar’s area at any one time
  • Limitations will be placed on the numbers attending the appointment to parents only

Notices of Marriage

  • Notices of marriage will take place by appointment only
  • Priority will be given to those who’s weddings are due to take place within the 28 day notice period
  • Appointment will be staggered to limit the number of attendees in the registrars area at any one time
  • Limitations will be placed on the numbers attending the appointment

Couples who choose to give notice, with the uncertainty of whether their place of worship will be available, should be aware that if the venue stated in the notice does not reopen in the future for some reason and their marriage or civil partnership cannot take place at that venue then fresh notices would be required.

All death and still-birth registration interviews will be conducted over the telephone. Please contact 01495 742132 for help and advice.

The Welsh Government has updated its guidance in relation to the coronavirus regulations which now allow for the solemnization of marriages in a place of worship registered for marriage and civil partnership formations where the place of worship is also an approved premises, subject to physical distancing requirements being in place.  We are awaiting further clarification from the Welsh Government in relation to marriages and civil partnerships in register offices and on secular approved premises and will provide an update as soon as we can.

Information on obtaining copy certificates can be found here.

Funeral Attendance

Today (30/07/20), the Gwent Local Resilience Forum, including the five councils, agreed to increase the number of mourners permitted to attend funerals at cemeteries within the five local authority areas of Gwent to 30. This will come into effect on Monday 3 August.

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and in line with government restrictions, it is still necessary to limit the number of people in any public space and ensure necessary social distancing. 

However, the councils fully recognise and understand how difficult these restrictions can be for the family and friends of the deceased.

The level of demand and related risk at these sites has been under constant review and restrictions were eased as soon as it was deemed safe and appropriate to do so for both the public and staff.

All decisions are made following a review of risk assessments and take into account a number of factors, including the ability to safely maintain and enforce the two metre social distancing requirements and the impact any increase in attendance would have on the continued health, safety and welfare of all those attending, managing and officiating the funeral.

The current numbers support the continued protection of the public, the ongoing effort to slow the spread of the virus and ensure bereavement services can continue to manage a safe and dignified funeral.

The original decision to limit the numbers of mourners was not taken lightly. Respect for the deceased and compassion for the bereaved is an important part of our decision-making, but protecting the health and wellbeing of the public, funeral and cemetery staff must be the foremost concern during this ongoing public health emergency.

Partners of the Gwent Local Resilience Forum will keep this matter under continual review while the Covid-19 pandemic continues to affect the Gwent area.

Mourner numbers at Gwent Crematorium

In the light of the further lifting of Covid-19 restrictions and an updated risk assessment, Newport City Council are proposing to increase the number of mourners to from 10 to 20 at the Gwent Crematorium.

Good social distancing and cleaning regimes will allow for a larger number of family groups or bubbles within the chapel.

These changes will start from next Tuesday 25th of August.

Cemeteries

From Monday 27th July, cemeteries in Torfaen will be open daily from 9am-7pm.

Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, winter opening times have been in place at Torfaen cemeteries, however the Council is now able to re-introduce summer opening hours.

We ask that visitors ensure they comply with all Covid-19 guidance when visiting, and we would like to remind residents that the toilets at cemeteries will remain closed.

Directory of Bereavement Support

We all know from experience that bereavement is difficult under any circumstances so knowing where to turn for support is important.

Charity, AtaLoss.org, provides a website directory of bereavement support which covers the UK. The website offers one place for people to search and find support wherever they live.

The website also provides information about how to cope with bereavement, how to support someone who is bereaved, planning a funeral and what you can do if you can’t attend plus more. There’s also links to other useful books and websites.

For those people who require face to face counselling the charity also hosts an online service called Griefchat, enabling people to speak to a counsellor free of charge.