Children with separated parents can continue to stay at both their mum and dad’s homes during the coronavirus lockdown.
The Government has written a clause into its new rules to ensure children whose parents don’t live together are not prevented from seeing both parents.
It confirms parents are free to move children under the age of 18 between both their parents’ homes throughout the initial three-week lockdown.
The rules for separated parents were published by the cabinet office in its ‘Full guidance on staying at home and away from others’ document after the prime Minister addressed the nation to put the UK on lockdown to help prevent the speed of covid-19.
Children under-18 can see both parents
Boris Johnson restricted people’s movements – saying there are only four reasons why people can leave their houses – with immediate effect.
1. Shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
2. One form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household
3. Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
4. Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.
Under point three, there’s a clause which states: “…where applicable, this includes moving children under 18 between their parents’ homes.”
An estimated 1 in 4 families in the UK are headed by single parents.
Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove MP clarified the issue on children with separated parents in a BBC interview.
He said: “My heart goes out to people who are having to wrestle with all the emotional difficulties.
“The key thing here is that if you want to ensure that children can see both parents, then they can be moved from one parent to another…I wasn’t sufficiently clear earlier, it is the case that children under the age of 18 can see both parents.”