The closure of Bradford’s registry office will lead to the cancellation of weddings, citizenship ceremonies and the postponement of birth registrations.

Bradford Council announced the closure of the City Hall based registry office today due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Council’s Leader has said it was an “awful” decision to have to make.

Although birth registrations cannot happen at the moment, families will still be able to make a claim for child benefit or Universal Credit.

A statement released by Bradford Council today said: “Births have to be registered in person by one or both parents and we need to protect everyone from the coronavirus (Covid-19). We have to limit movement across the district and promote social distancing for both the public and staff.

“Families can now also make a claim for child benefit or universal credit prior to the birth being registered.

“These changes have been directed by the General Register Office.

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“We have also had to make some other changes to the way other work is carried out at the Register Office. We recognise that this will mean postponing big events in people’s lives, and regret that these decisions have had to be made, but we need to follow national guidelines to try to keep everyone safe and well.

“All weddings, civil partnership and citizenship ceremonies have had to be cancelled.

“We are unable to book new appointments at the moment. If anyone needs to get in touch on this, they should email and someone will respond as soon as possible.

“Anyone needing to register births, deaths and still-births, should telephone 01274 432151 to book an appointment.

“Face to face applications for certificates, e.g. death certificates, are not currently available, so please do not come to the office.

“Certificates can be ordered online at ‘Get a copy Certificate’ and will be posted to your home address. Alternatively, you can write to us at The Register Office, City Hal l, Centenary Square, Bradford, BD1 1HY enclosing a cheque made payable to Bradford Council. The fee for each certificate is £11.

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford Council, said: “It’s awful to have to impose this restriction on those major events in people’s family lives. However, we have to think first and foremost now about how we support residents to stay safe.

“This is another sad but necessary step in our action to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.

“We are doing our best to continue the Register services, whilst at the same time following the Government’s restrictions.”