Birth registrations make a phased return

Birth registrations are making a phased return in Somerset and North Somerset from today (Monday 22 June) following the gradual easing of coronavirus restrictions.

The service, run by Somerset County Council, had to be put on hold in March at the start of the nationwide pandemic lockdown due to Government instructions.

But now parents can book appointments to register the birth of babies born before 31 March 2020.

People can book appointments in Taunton for births that took place in Somerset, and in Weston-super-Mare for births in North Somerset and Bristol, providing the parent(s) is a North Somerset resident.

The number of appointments will be limited at first as safety measures must be put in place in buildings to protect the public and members of the registration service staff.

Councillor David Hall, Somerset County Council’s Lead member for Economic Development, Planning and Community Infrastructure, said: “This is very good news for people who have been waiting to register the birth of their baby. We know it’s been frustrating, but the safety of the public and our staff is paramount. We’re working hard to open more offices and I would ask people to please bear with us while the service is gradually phased back into operation.”

With the service suspended for many weeks, there is a large number of births to be registered and parents of babies born after 1 April are asked to stay patient for now until more offices are open.

Further updates will follow – please check www.somerset.gov.uk/births-ceremonies-and-deaths/register-birth where you can also find useful information on what documents are needed for registration, who can register a birth and a handy information sheet.

Please use the online system for booking an appointment wherever possible.

If you have an urgent need to register your baby, for example for a passport requirement for booked travel, please call the registration team on 01823 282251.

The registration service web pages also provide information on registering a death – now available by phone – and details of the Somerset Bereavement Support Partnership.

Please check for updates and information on marriages and civil partnerships at https://www.somersetweddingservice.org.uk/ Updates are also posted here: https://www.facebook.com/SomersetWeddingService/