Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: Libraries, registering births and booking ceremonies

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Face coverings protect others

From today you must to wear a face covering by law in the following settings:

  • public transport
  • transport hubs (such as airports, stations and terminals)
  • shops and supermarkets 
  • indoor shopping centres
  • banks, building societies, and post offices 

Face coverings will not be mandatory for anyone under the age of 11, those with disabilities or certain health conditions, such as respiratory or cognitive impairments.

You can read about face coverings, when to wear one and how to make your own.

A supermarket aisle with a sign saying face coverings make shopping safer

Free child sessions at Summer Holiday Activity Clubs

We are working with Active Essex to offer more than 21,000 completely free sessions for children at Summer Holiday Activity Clubs.

Each club will run for 5 days per week for at least 4 hours per day, providing a range of sport and physical activities and a healthy packed lunch. All activity clubs will be COVID-19 safe and follow government guidelines.

We do expect places to be in great demand. Places will be given on a first come first served basis.

Practical, emotional and specialist support for you


We know it's a challenging time for everyone as we slowly emerge from lockdown.

The Essex Wellbeing Service (EWS) is here to help. It offers a single point of access to practical, emotional and specialist support. All Essex residents, including parents and families, can use the service.

If you or someone you know needs advice, EWS provides support for:

  • debt, housing or employment questions
  • parenting and family matters
  • caring responsibilities
  • dementia care
  • feelings of loneliness or isolation
  • mental wellbeing
  • learning disability/autism
  • sensory impairment
  • quitting smoking
  • keeping physically active

Call 0300 303 9988 Monday to Friday, 8am to 7pm, or Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 2pm. You can also visit the Essex Wellbeing Service website.

Changes to our services

Our website includes information on what you should do, the latest changes to our services and how you can get help in your community.

Booking your marriage or civil partnership ceremony

The registration service is now open for new bookings for marriage and civil partnership ceremonies.

We are initially prioritising couples whose ceremonies are due to take place prior to 31 October 2020 or whose ceremonies were cancelled or postponed due to the coronavirus restrictions.

If you’ve already made a booking, prior to 23 March and still need to give notice, please don’t call us. We’ll contact you as soon as we can to arrange an appointment.

Registering your baby (for births up to and including 30 May 2020)

We’re now able to extend birth registrations to babies born up to and including 30 May 2020. You can book an appointment online.

We’re continually updating what appointments we have, so if there are none available, please do not call us. Please continue to check availability online.

Please do not attempt to book yet if your child was born after 30 May 2020. Our register a birth page has the latest service updates.


A further 7 libraries are now open. These are Fryerns, Kelvedon, Mark Hall, Silver End, Thaxted, Vange and Wickham Bishops.

6 libraries are being reviewed and, where it is safe and possible, plans are in place for them to open during August (subject to confirmation). These are Great Wakering, Holland, Southminster, Stanway, Stock and West Clacton. Details for Debden are to be confirmed.

Please note, the number of customers allowed in a library at any one time will be reduced to help people stay safe. Time spent in the library will also be limited. Where possible, there will be separate entrances and exits; and you may have to queue before entering the library.

You can find out more information about our safety measures or watch a video on what to expect.

Essex Record Office

The Essex Record Office Searchroom is now open. The number of people in the Searchroom will be limited to 25 so you will need you to book your visit in advance.