Co-parenting during the coronavirus pandemic: What are the rules?


Boris Johnson placed the country under a strict new regime on Monday evening, emphasising the government's mission to prevent the COVID-19 virus spreading "between households". 

This has sparked concern among separated parents, as the restrictive measures raised questions about passing children from one residence to the next.

Boris explicitly stated in his address that Brits must only leave the house to go shopping, enjoy one hour of outdoor exercise, or provide help to a vulnerable person.

However, the exceptions also allow parents to move children under 18 as necessary, according to Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove.

The MP appeared on Good Morning Britain on Tuesday to discuss the rules, tweeting shortly afterwards to clear up any confusion.

Gove stated:

"I wasn’t clear enough earlier, apologies. To confirm - while children should not normally be moving between households, we recognise that this may be necessary when children who are under 18 move between separated parents. This is permissible & has been made clear in the guidance"

The government has also issued some general advice for child care during this period, which is available on the UK gov website:

  • If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
  • If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available for them.
  • Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.
  • Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.

These tighter measures will be in place for an initial period of three weeks and are being subjected to constant review.

Incoming data on COVID-19 cases will reveal whether the government chooses to ease or tighten these restrictions during April.

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