Coronavirus: Council service disruption

Coronavirus: Council service disruption

It is important to remember that COVID-19 has not gone away, and to help reduce the risk of the virus spreading there will continue to be some changes to the way we deliver our services. 

In response to the risks of the Omicron variant the government has announced "Plan B" restrictions for England. .

From Friday 10 December 2021, until further notice, the public and staff in public facing areas, are required to wear face coverings (unless exempt) in a number of indoor spaces including:

  • community centres (including village halls)
  • libraries and public reading rooms
  • polling stations and premises used for the counting of votes
  • crematoria and burial ground chapels
  • museums


Social distancing remains in place in the Civic Centre and most of our other buildings with members of the public encouraged to:

  • Observe two metres social distance
  • Use hand sanitiser when entering council buildings
  • Sign in using the Test and Trace app

Civic Centre

The Arches at the Civic Centre reception will be open from 8.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday. 

Only people with an appointment or who need to access emergency services should visit the Civic Centre.

Household Waste and Recycling Centres

Our recycling centres at Brunswick, Byker and Walbottle are open with social distancing measures remaining in place.  

We continue to operate an “odds and evens” access system, based on the last number of car licence plates and the date. 

Find out more about visiting our recycling centres.


Housing Advice Centre 

The Housing Advice Centre will continue to offer advice by telephone or email.

After 4.30pm on weekdays or at weekends you can access out of hours support if you have nowhere to sleep:

  • Phone: 0800 1707 008 and follow the instructions to speak to the emergency homeless service.  

For more information visit our homelessness information page.

Private Rented Service Newcastle

Landlords and tenants who rent their home from a private landlord can get free advice and support from our Private Rented Service by:

You can also find a range of information and guidance, including advice on COVID-19, on our Private Rented Service website.

Your Homes Newcastle 

For information about disruption to Your Homes Newcastle (YHN) services please see the YHN coronavirus page.

Libraries and Museums


All libraries in Newcastle are open for business - please check our library pages for opening times and service details.


You no longer need to pre-book your visit for the Discovery Museum, Great North Museum: Hancock or the Hatton Gallery. 

However you may still need to pre-book if you want to visit exhibitions at the Laing Art Gallery.

To keep everyone safe visitor numbers will be monitored to ensure venues don’t get too crowded. 

For more information visit the Tyne and Wear Museums website.

Registration and bereavement services

To protect customers and staff there will continue to be some changes to how Register Office and Bereavement Services are delivered.  Social distancing measures will remain in place and visitors will be encouraged to wear face coverings unless they are exempt.


Registrations are strictly by appointment only and parents can contact the Register Office to make an appointment:

  • Phone: 0191 2787878 (and ask for "registrars")
  • Email our registrars service and provide a phone number so we can call you to make an appointment.    

Please note that any parent turning up at the Civic Centre without an appointment will not be seen.  

Please make sure you are on time for your appointment – if you are late you may not be seen. 

Marriages and civil partnerships   

All ceremony restrictions have now been lifted however we encourage our guests to wear a face covering when in public areas of the building. 

New ceremony bookings   

Ceremonies can be booked two years in advance. 

If you are interested in booking a ceremony please contact the Register Office by phone (Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 4.30pm) on 0191 2787878 and ask for Registrars, or by emailing our registrars service, stating your preferred date and time, the name of your venue and your contact details, and someone will get back to you.

Bereavement services

You can contact the Bereavement Services office at the Civic Centre by:

The office is not open to personal callers.


The expiry of the Coronavirus Act at midnight on 24 March means that from Friday 25 March onwards it will be a legal requirement to register a death at a face to face appointment.

The Medical Cause of Death Certificate (MCCD) is issued by a doctor and will be sent directly to the Register Office.

Before making an appointment to register a death the informant should confirm with the doctor or hospital that the MCCD has been sent to the Register Office.  We cannot register a death without this document.

To make an appointment to register a death contact us by phone on 0191 2787878 and ask for Registrars.

GPs should continue to scan and email Medical Cause of Death Certificates to the Register Office email our registrars service. Certificates should not be handed to the informant.

Cemeteries and crematoria

All cemeteries in the city are open.   The West Road Crematorium is open, as is its waiting room.

Visitors are encouraged to observe social distancing measures and must wear a face covering indoors unless exempt. 


There are no restrictions on the number of people who can attend a funeral at one of our chapels or a graveside service.

An intensive cleaning regime is in place at the West Road Crematorium with the chapels being cleaned between every service.  To facilitate this, we kindly ask that mourners exit the chapel as soon as the service is concluded and move away from the entrance.

Funeral directors are requested to scan and e-mail documents where possible and drop off statutory documentation to a central point for collection.  Please contact bereavement services for more information.   

Citizenship ceremonies  

Group ceremonies are now being held on a monthly basis and private ceremonies are available upon request.

The Home Office will send out a ceremony invite to each applicant via post or email and the Register Office will be notified.  If you have received a ceremony invite, please do not contact us - we will be in touch to invite you to a ceremony and you will be offered the first available date.

We encourage our citizens to wear a face covering when in public areas.


We are only accepting online applications for copy certificates. Order via our online order service page.  

All certificates will be posted out.  A collection service is not available.

Priority service

Priority applications will be posted out within 24 hours of receipt of your application. 

Please note that these timings apply to working days i.e. if you order your certificate on a Saturday it will not be posted until Monday.

Standard service

We are currently experiencing a high volume of standard applications. We are committed to processing your orders as fast as we can and our aim is to deal with your order within 15 working days of receipt of your application but we cannot guarantee this.  Please do not contact us for updates as we will not be able to confirm when your order will be completed.

Family history requests

We are currently, until further notice, unable to process family history requests.


Information and guidance on schools and childcare is available on our schools coronavirus information pages.

Social care 

Care homes are open and are following Public Health England guidelines but some restrictions remain in place.  Contact your care home to find out more about their visitor policy.  See the latest guidance on visiting care homes

Some day services may remain closed or be offering reduced services.  You should contact your day services provider to find out more.

Did you know?

COVID-19 has not gone away, regionally case rates are some of the highest we have seen throughout the pandemic.  While thankfully hospital admissions are not as high as previously, they are growing.  People are still becoming very ill and even those with mild symptoms can go on to develop long Covid. 

To help protect others and keep Newcastle open there are some things we can all keep doing:

  • Be considerate – continue wearing a face covering indoors – particularly in crowded areas – and on public transport to protect others, including our frontline workers who we all rely on
  • Be cautious – the pandemic is not over, and continuing to wash your hands, wear face coverings, keep your distance and meet outdoors when you can, will help to prevent the virus spreading
  • Be kind – many people may still feel anxious about changes to restrictions, be mindful of how others may still want to distance and wear face coverings

The people of Newcastle have worked hard throughout the pandemic and made many sacrifices. Thank you for your continued support to ensure these efforts aren’t

Staff are providing updates and answering questions on social media platforms.  If you don’t follow the council already you can do so via our Twitter, and our Facebook pages.

If you bookmark our coronavirus information page on your browser it will be easier come back and check for updates.

Be Considerate, Be Cautious, Be Kind

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