When lockdown was announced on 23 March, the Registration team had to completely change the way they normally do business.
Their day to day business of registering births, death and marriages and carrying out ceremonies from their base in Newmarket Street immediately changed.
The small team of seven had to adapt quickly to deliver the service remotely - online and by telephone.
All ceremonies and registration appointments were cancelled, birth registrations were suspended and no marriage schedules were issued.
Emergency legislation was passed to enable the team to register death and still births registrations remotely with no need for attendance at the office to sign paperwork to allow funerals to take place.
Fiona Mitchell, Chief Registrar said: “Lockdown was upon us so suddenly we had to put new processes in place immediately. We segregated the team early on which meant a new working environment for some staff. They took this in their stride and just got on with the job.
“Doing deaths remotely was alien to me and my team so new procedures had to be put in place as quickly as possible and staff had to adapt to these different processes swiftly and efficiently.
“Staff were emotionally drained after dealing with the high volume of death registrations. However, the team is dedicated to giving our community the best possible customer service in a very professional manner and to make the process as easy as possible for bereaved families.
“The vast majority of bereaved families were very understanding and patient with the new procedure, most of them relieved they could complete the process and arrange a funeral”.
Not long after lockdown began, the team had to move to a seven day working week to enable statistics to be obtained for the Scottish Government for future decision making.
Fiona added: “The team has been outstanding. They have been positive, committed and have worked so well as a team considering we are all working in different areas.
“It was really nice to be able to help people in the community who were going through a very sad and difficult time throughout this uncertain period.”
The team were able to start registering births from the 29 June when the country moved into phase 2 of the Scottish Government’s route map. And Assistant registrar Alex Mocian carried out the area’s first outdoor wedding on Monday 6 July when Amanda and Brian tied the knot!
“We are continuing to process death registrations remotely whilst we deal with the massive backlog of birth registrations and influx of marriage paperwork.
“We are definitely moving more into the digital age. We are finding customers are happy to apply online for certificates and they are posted out which helps us manage our time more efficiently.”