COVID Christmas arrangements for children

The Government’s guidance upon children of separating parents has not changed significantly since it was first handed out in March.  The advice was issued through the Courts and Tribunals Judiciary website and the three main issues are :

Where parents do not live together in the same household children under 18 can be moved between their parents home.

Parental Responsibility for a child who is subject to a Child Arrangement order made by the court rests with the parent not with the court. Therefore parents should communicate to discuss concerns or issues directly. Consideration should be given to the vulnerable individuals and how to protect them especially at this time of year.

Parents must abide by the rules in place in respect of the areas in which they live and also in respect of self isolation.

The rules have not changed and do not change in terms of isolation, where a child or parent has symptoms or tests positive or has been told to self isolate they must do so for 14 days (reducing to 10 from 14 November) If that happens contact will be suspended and the parents should ensure that another form of contact can be maintained during the relevant period such as phone, facetime, zoom etc.

So as we come to Christmas the Government issued a relaxing slightly of the current “Tier” rules over the period 23-27 December enabling families to create a 3 household bubble enabling them to stay or go inside those houses together.

Children who move homes during this Christmas period are able to join their other parents bubbles but they must abide by the other relevant rules in respect of which Tier the area is in.

Children can meet people outside of the bubble but only outside of the home and only if in line with the rules for which tier they are living in.

Tier 1 Medium alert

Must not socialise in groups larger than 6 inside or outside.

Tier 2 High Alert

Must not socialise with anyone you don’t live with or who is not in your support bubble in any indoor setting whether at home or in public.

You must not socialise in a group of more than 6 outside including gardens or public spaces.

Tier 3 Very High Alert

Must not socialise indoors or outdoors with anybody you do not live with or who is in your support bubble this includes in a private garden or at an outdoor venue.

You must not socialise in  group of more than 6 in some outdoor public places including parks, beaches and public gardens.

The full guidance can be found upon the Government website and changes can occur with the Tiers that you are in, but for the purposes of exercising contact children are able to travel between households and through Tiers but must abide by the overarching rules in place for those areas.

I hope that this is a clear guide but should you need further help or advice then please do call 07500 105 746 or email mark.sage@tltsolicitors.com

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