Services and events affected by coronavirus (COVID-19)

Details of council services and events impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.

Warning Help slow the spread of the virus by following the guidelines on the NHS coronavirus webpage.

For the latest information on coronavirus (COVID-19) visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus.

Find information and advice on our COVID-19 web pages from how to get help and support, schooling and child care for key worker children, tips on explaining COVID-19 to children and homeschooling, to advice on mental health and wellbeing and staying in and working out.

There's advice for businesses, schools, child care providers and council suppliers too.

You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter for news, service updates and advice.

Staffing

Large numbers of council staff have been told to work from home in line with government advice on essential travel. This has caused some services, events and public facing activities to be cancelled or delayed.

How schools are affected
Service change Impact
School closures

From 1 June schools will begin to open for some year groups in a phased manner. Details are available from individual schools and will vary. 

Where schools are looking after children of key workers and vulnerable children, this will continue.

Details of schools unable to provide for children of key workers and vulnerable children will be regularly updated on our emergency school closures page.
If you need help to find a school place for a key worker child or vulnerable child, email schoolplaceavailability@oxfordshire.gov.uk

Individual schools For further information check individual school websites.
Transferring or moving school Government closures and staff absences have led to delays to in-year transfers being processed.
Appealing for a school place This summer’s appeal hearings will be heard remotely and we will be emailing parents in due course with dates of when these will be arranged. We will do our best to ensure that as many appeals as possible are heard by the standard deadlines but regret that some appeals may be heard later than we would have expected.

More information for parents.

How social care is affected
Service change Impact

Home visits

New guidance (pdf format, 250Kb) has been written for carers, personal assistants, and volunteers on safe home visits and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

All our registration offices are closed for face-to-face appointments until further notice.

How births, deaths and ceremonies are affected
Service change Impact
Birth registration

The Government has advised that birth registrations can recommence on 1 June.

As registrations will be face to face, we are only able to start once we have safe plans in place for parents and staff. Appointments will take place at County Hall in Oxford in offices that have been prepared in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines.

Parents will need to confirm that they are not self-isolating and are without symptoms when they arrive. We will only see one parent where the couple are married or in a civil partnership. For couples who are not married or in a civil partnership, we will see both parents but without baby if possible.

We will register births in date order and we will contact you to book an appointment, so please wait to hear from us as we have a large backlog of births to deal with. Once an appointment has been booked parents will receive an email confirmation with a letter containing important information so please read it carefully.

Payments for certificates will be taken when your appointment is booked. Certificates cost £11 each.

Birth re-registrations

We are not accepting any re-registrations until further notice.

Registering a death

We will telephone death registrations.
 
Make arrangements to register any death as soon as you can, ideally within five days. Ensure that the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD) has been forwarded to us electronically by either the hospital or your GP surgery. It is taking longer than usual to register a death with us. However, we will complete this process for you as soon as we can.
 
To make an appointment to register a death, book an appointment online or telephone 0345 241 2489. Lines are open Monday to Friday 9am-4.30pm.

A registrar will telephone you to take the death registration. It may take longer for death certificates to be issued, but the registrar will send the paperwork required for the funeral to your funeral director.
 
To order death certificates place your order online. At present, we are only accepting orders for death certificates where the date of death is after 1 March 2020 unless there has been an inquest. We can only post certificates and that this may take up to 11 days to be processed.
 
If you feel you need more advice, here is a list of organisations who provide guidance during periods of bereavement.

Registering a death or still-birth

We are registering deaths and still-births by telephone appointment only. You can book an appointment online or call 0345 241 2489.

The process of booking an appointment will take you through a series of questions which you will need to have answered before we can book the appointment.  

Ensure that the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD) has been forwarded to us electronically by either the hospital or your GP surgery. We cannot conduct the registration without first receiving an MCCD. During the appointment a registrar will call the telephone number provided at the time of booking and register the death with the informant. Do not come in to a Register Office as they are closed until further notice.

If the death occurred outside of Oxfordshire please contact the local registration service to arrange a telephone registration with them directly. You can find your local Register Office at GOV.UK

Read our certificate ordering page for up to date information on how to order certificates after the registration. We are not issuing any priority certificates at this time and certificates can only be posted. They cannot be collected from a Register Office.

Civil partnership and marriage ceremonies

The Government announced on 10 May 2020 that it will be continuing with the ban on gatherings. This affects weddings and other ceremonies taking place in Oxfordshire.

The Government is considering how to enable slightly larger groups to gather for events such as small marriage ceremonies and civil partnerships and this may come into force from 1 June if other conditions are also met.

The Registration Service must adhere to the Government guidelines as they are announced.  We are not given any extra information over and above the details given to the public.  Due to the uncertainty about when the current lockdown restrictions will be lifted, we are currently only taking new ceremony bookings and rearranging any previously booked ceremonies to dates after 1 September 2020. 

Until we have definitive further guidance from Government we cannot guarantee that ceremonies booked for June will go ahead, nor can we be sure of the numbers of guests that will be permitted to attend. We have no further guarantees that any ceremonies booked beyond June will be able to proceed as planned either.

We will update this website with further information as soon as we receive it and have firm plans in place. We would ask for your continued patience and flexibility at this time. Your ceremony is very important to us and we hope to be able to celebrate with you as soon as we are able to.

Postponing a ceremony

We do appreciate that some couples with ceremonies booked will also want to postpone their ceremony until another time.

If you wish to postpone, we will offer to re-book your ceremony with no additional charge.  You may need to attend for another notice appointment depending on the new date of your ceremony and the statutory charge will apply.

Should you wish to cancel your ceremony, you will be provided with a full refund. 

If you have a ceremony booked, please contact the Registration Service using our enquiry form. We will respond within 7 days. By not phoning us you are allowing us to do essential work.

It can take up to 7 working days for us to reply to any enquiries. We are working through them in order of date of ceremony to deal with the most urgent first.

Registration offices

All our registration offices are closed for face to face appointments until further notice. We are not carrying notice of marriage or civil partnership appointments, marriages or civil partnership ceremonies until further notice.  We are carrying out death registrations by telephone appointment only.  

John Radcliffe office

Our births and deaths registration offices at the John Radcliffe Hospital are closed until further notice

Booking a marriage or civil partnership ceremony We are not taking bookings for any new ceremonies for April, May, June, July or August.
Notice of marriage or civil partnership We are not currently taking any bookings for notice of marriage or civil partnership and will review this information regularly.
Citizenship ceremonies

All citizenship ceremonies have been cancelled until further notice.  We are awaiting further advice from the Home Office.

Ordering certificates

We are only able to issue certificates for deaths which occurred in Oxfordshire after 1 March 2020 unless there has been an inquest.

For copies of other certificates contact the General Register Office.

How the Coroner's Service is affected
Service change Impact
Oxford Coroner's Court

The Oxford Coroner’s Court has partially opened for some inquests but not in open court. Find out which inquests and when.

Coroner’s office Contact the Coroner’s office only if it's urgent.
How public health and wellbeing services are affected
Service change Impact
Public health and wellbeing

Many services provided by our health care partners have been stopped or changed until further notice. See our list of services affected (pdf format, 97Kb) and how to get in touch if you need more information.

How roads and transport services are affected
Service change Impact

Bus passes

We have temporarily removed time restrictions on older and disabled persons bus passes to allow travel before 9am.

Highway maintenance

The government has stated that any work that can be done safely and within Public Health England guidance can continue. We are continuing to carry out essential repairs to ensure that roads remains operational and safe.

We have agreed with our contractors that maintenance and construction work will continue where possible following an assessment of each location. Our contractors are ensuring that working practices relevant to government guidance can be adhered to. 

If you see anyone working on the roads they are performing a vital service. Please observe social distancing rules.

How waste and recycling is affected
Service change Impact
Household waste and recycling centres

All household waste recycling centres are now open.

In order to keep residents and staff safe, changes have been made to the way recycling centres operate, including limiting the number and size of vehicles coming in and social distancing measures.

Sites are open 8am to 5pm every day. When there are long waiting times to enter the HWRC staff may close the queue earlier than the advertised closing time based on an assessment of the queue time, If you have queued near to closing time you may continue to queue off the highway, but please be aware that you may not gain entry when the gates close at 5pm. 

Read our waste reopening questions for full details and before visiting. 

How libraries are affected
Service change Impact
Library closures

All libraries are closed until further notice.

We offer a range of online library services you can access from your home such as eBooks and eAudio, eMagazines and eNewspapers.

Late fines All loan periods will be extended and you will not incur any fines or hire charges.
Library events All activities in libraries have been cancelled until further notice.
Providing documents for applications

You may need to provide documents for one of the following applications.

Upload the documents to your online application. If you are unable to upload your documents to your application form yourself, ask a family member or friend to do it for you.

Do not post your documents. We are unable to access post at the moment. 

How museum and history services are affected
Service change Impact
The Oxfordshire Museum

The Oxfordshire Museum and Museums Resource Centre are closed until further notice.

All exhibitions and Easter activities, talks, reminiscence groups and school boxes have been cancelled. Swalcliffe Barn will not open in April.

Oxfordshire History Centre

Oxfordshire History Centre is closed until further notice.

We are currently unable to access archive collections, so may not be able to answer enquiries. Online catalogues and selected digital resources  remain available. 

Oxfordshire Music Service

The Oxfordshire Music Service is closed until further notice.

The following have all been cancelled:

  • Ensembles
  • Events
  • Rehearsals (including Saturday music centres, OYMT, touring orchestra rehearsals, and the Easter residential) 

We are reviewing options of remote learning and the question of billing.

How parking services are affected
Service change Impact
Resident parking permits

We are currently facing delays in posting resident permits.

If you are applying for any of the following:

You can still apply online but you must print out your authorisation acknowledgement email upon production of payment, where payment is due. You will need to display this email confirmation on your dashboard.

If you do not have access to a printer then write all the details on a piece of paper and display this on the dashboard instead.

Parking enforcement

Residential parking and parking restrictions across Oxford will continue to be enforced. This will ensure emergency services, waste collections and key workers are not hindered by obstructive or dangerous parking. Read more in our parking questions document (pdf format, 56Kb).

On-street parking

On-street pay and display parking bays will be made free of charge for key workers from 28 March. You must confirm your key worker status with a note on your dashboard. 

More detailed support can be found in our parking questions document (pdf format, 56Kb).

Park and ride

All park and rides sites will offer free parking to all (you still need to pay for a bus ticket) from 28 March to enable those who have come to help/are self-isolating with family members, as an alternative place to park.

Oxford Parkway - Park and ride buses to Oxford city centre from Oxford Parkway will stop from 30 March until further notice. Find out which buses are still running.

Pear Tree will be closed from Monday 30 March until further notice.

Dropped kerbs

We have stopped processing all dropped kerb applications (new and old) as this requires access to property gardens and is a non-essential activity. There is also likely to be limited ability to deliver the work even if permission granted. 

If you have already applied we will contact you about the status of your application and when we are able to restore the service.

How the Fire and Rescue Service is affected
Service change Impact
Fire safety training

All of our April, and some May fire safety training courses have been postponed.

Community facing services

Our Fire and Rescue Service have postponed some community focused public facing services. Our firefighters still be responding to emergencies.
 

Fire protection service

Our business fire safety inspectors will stop undertaking proactive visits until further notice. You can still contact them on the phone or by email. Read more about how to keep your business fire safe during COVID-19 (pdf format, 144Kb)

How countryside services are affected
Service change Impact

Public rights of way

The restrictions on movement announced by the government apply to public rights of way and the countryside access network. We have produced advice about social distancing and using public rights of way (pdf format, 58Kb).

Bird hide key

Purchase of key for our bird hides has been suspended until further notice. 

The Oxford zero emission zone
Service change Impact
Oxford zero emission zone

The plan to launch the red zone element of the Oxford zero emission zone in December is now postponed. 

We have closed the formal consultation on the red zone which started in early March, but responses submitted so far will be read and saved. If you have provided contact details, we will contact you at the start of the next consultation to confirm if you wish to add your previous response. 

The councils plan to resume the consultation in late 2020, with a view to implementing the scheme in the summer of 2021. 

How council meetings are affected
Service change Impact
Council meetings

The council will await guidance from the government on how formal council meetings could be managed online before making further decisions on how these should proceed.