On Monday (March 23), the Government announced a national lockdown for at least three weeks, during which people must stay at home except for a limited set of purposes.

In this article, we explain how the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and current lockdown will affect separated parents who want to ensure that they continue to have regular contact with their children.

Can my child visit me during the lockdown?

The Government has confirmed that children under 18 can be moved between their parents' houses.

As such, providing that no-one in either household is showing symptoms then child arrangements should continue as normal and parents are permitted to travel between each other's houses to facilitate this.

Does our child arrangement order still apply?

Child Arrangement Orders (and other agreements made between parents) tend to set out the arrangements during term time and then separate arrangements for school holidays. However, the situation we find ourselves in now fits into neither of those categories.

It will be up to the parents to decide together, how the children will spend their time whilst the schools are closed. Parents may decide that their existing term-time arrangements should continue or that their holiday contact arrangements are more suitable.

What if someone has coronavirus symptoms?

A common-sense approach must prevail. A child who is showing symptoms should not be expected to travel to another parent's house and potentially spread the virus further.

Similarly, if your child needs to self-isolate because they are classed as a vulnerable person, then parents will be expected to be flexible in this regard. Your child's health should take priority in this situation.

  • Nigel Mears is a partner at award-winning law firm VWV, which has offices in Clarendon Road, Watford