Roadmap to remove National restrictions in England – Plans for marriages and civil partnerships
On 22 February the Prime Minister announced his plans for emerging from the current COVID-19 lockdown and presented a roadmap with a step-by-step plan to ease restrictions in England. Detailed below are the planned steps and dates when restrictions concerning marriages and civil partnerships are due to be eased. The plans apply to all areas of England from the dates specified but are subject to the four tests outlined in the roadmap being met at each step. If these tests are not met, then the planned dates for the gradual lifting of restrictions may be subject to change. If the planned dates or steps change, we will contact couples who are impacted.
Marriages and Civil Partnerships in England
Current national restrictions remain in place and there are no changes for marriages and civil partnerships in England prior to 29 March. At present marriages and civil partnerships are restricted to exceptional circumstances only i.e. where there is a requirement to have an urgent marriage or civil partnership where one of those getting married is seriously ill and not expected to recover or is to undergo debilitating treatment or life-changing surgery. In these circumstances please email email@example.com and we will be in contact with you,
Please include the following details within your email:
- State the date that your ceremony was due to take place in the subject line
- Outline the reasons why your marriage or civil partnership needs to take place urgently.
The changes planned for ceremonies are:
- Step 1 (2nd stage): From 29 March – Legal limit of 6 attendees but no longer limited to ‘exceptional circumstances’
- Step 2: No earlier than 12 April - Legal limit of 15 attendees
- Step 3: No earlier than 17 May – Legal limit of 30 attendees
- Step 4: No earlier than 21 June – No legal limit on attendees (subject to the outcome of the scientific Events Research Programme – from April the government will run pilots for events such as large weddings to help determine how measures such as enhanced testing might allow large groups to attend without social distancing.)
As is currently the case, the number allowed to attend includes the couple, witnesses and guests, but those working, such as registration officials and venue managers are not included.
We are contacting all couples who are affected by these restrictions.
Guidance will change periodically, and we will update the webpages as and when any changes are published. Please check our webpages on a regular basis.
There will be no additional charges if you wish to rebook your ceremony for a later date.
If the statutory ‘Notice of Intention to Marry/Civil Partnership’ is due to expire on or before the date of the rebooked ceremony, then you will need to give fresh 'Notice of Intention to Marry/Civil Partnership' and the waiting period of 28 clear days will still apply.
You don’t have to give notice if you’re getting married in a Church of England church, unless one or both of you are foreign nationals subject to immigration control.
If you live in Birmingham and wish to get married in a different venue, you must first give notice of your intention to marry at least 29 days before the ceremony.
To give notice you will need to have booked the venue for your ceremony. Possible places to get married include:
- The Ceremony Suite at the Birmingham Register Office
- an approved premise
- legally registered religious buildings.
If you are getting married or entering into a civil partnership outside of England and Wales, different rules apply depending on the country in which your ceremony will be held. It is advisable to check the advice on the main government website about marrying abroad and which documents you may need. Should you require a Certificate of No Impediment, please follow the advice on the Register Office website for giving notice of your marriage or civil partnership.
Please note: During the Covid 19 pandemic there are restrictions in place in relation to this procedure, which may alter arrangements that can be made. Changes are sometimes made nationally prior to the council being notified, but every effort will be made to ensure information is updated as soon as possible.