Council closes registry office in Lerwick

Shetland Islands Council has decided to close its registry office at Lerwick Town Hall until further notice due to the coronavirus epidemic.

The SIC said the office would be shut from Tuesday, in line with advice from the depute registrar general, UK and Scottish governments, to delay the spread of the virus.

As a result, further restrictions have been placed on the delivery of the registration service, as follows:

• Pre-arranged registration or civil ceremonies this week will go ahead, with individuals agreeing strictly to the attendance instructions discussed with the Registrar.

• Birth registration has been suspended until further notice.  Further guidance will be available shortly, but there is no need to worry about the 21 day time limit.

• Death registrations will be conducted by appointment only.  You can book an appointment by calling the Registration Office on 01595 744 562.

• Home-based registrars in Skerries, Foula and Fair Isle will not be undertaking any registrations until further notice. Anyone on those islands requiring a registration service should contact the Lerwick registrar, in the first instance, for advice.

• Civil marriage/partnership ceremonies – all pre-booked civil ceremonies from Saturday 28th March to Tuesday 30th June 2020, will be cancelled or postponed. This includes all ceremonies either within the town hall, or at another venue. The registrar will contact people as soon as possible to discuss a refund or a rebooking. Ceremonies beyond 30th June will be kept under review.

• Notices of marriage or civil partnership will be accepted by post but these may not be processed until normal service is resumed.

• Citizenship ceremonies have been postponed until further notice, unless under direct instruction of the Home Office. In such instances, individual advice will be provided to applicants.

• Requests for extracts, certificates or searches will only be accepted by post or over the phone. There may be a delay in processing requests until normal service has resumed. All orders will be provided by post, you will not be able to collect in person.

The above restrictions would be kept under review and may be subject to further change in accordance with legislation or guidance, the council said.

If anyone has any queries, or needs further advice, they are asked to call the registrar on (01595) 744562, or email


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