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Tuesday 24 March 2020
by Jackie Emson

Clarity on child arrangements in light of the new “Stay at home” restrictions by Aaron and Partners

During the evening of 23 March the Prime Minister issued strict new “Stay at Home” rules that people should only leave the house for one of 4 reasons:- 

• Shopping for basic necessities;  

• One form of exercise per day; 

• Any medical need or to provide care or help to a vulnerable person; 

• Travelling to and from work where it cannot be done from home.  

These latest stay at home restrictions have caused much confusion for parents, children and legal practitioners who are trying to ensure that the interests and welfare of the children are maintained whilst ensuring that they are not in breach of the government’s restrictions.  

Michael Gove has clarified this morning that children are allowed to travel in between separated parents’ homes.  The latest advice has been published to confirm that “Any medical need or to provide care or help to a vulnerable person” will include moving children under 18 between their parents’ homes.  

It seems that the Government are encouraging people to ensure that Court orders and parents’ own  agreements are adhered to during the Coronavirus pandemic and that transporting children to and from contact will not allow parents to fall foul of the lock down restrictions.  

Whilst the guidance has resolved some of the ambiguity, there remains an ever growing number of questions arising for parents and other care givers trying to ensure that their children are protected in these unchartered times.   

Family practitioners are expecting an update today from the Family Law Bar Association for further guidance.