Separated families and the coronavirus pandemic: what are the rules for children that live between two households during the Christmas period?
This is a question no doubt that many parents have asked themselves and perhaps has been the cause for argument or debate between parents. The information the government has provided for the general coronavirus pandemic rules and the tier system has been confusing to say the least and with Christmas on the horizon many parents will want to know what arrangements they can attempt to make with their ex-partner regarding the children. Helpfully on the 2nd of December 2020 the government published a briefing paper giving advice to separated parents and answering many of the frequent questions. The link to the briefing paper can be found here
The guidance given in March of this year stated clearly “Where parents do not live in the same household, children under 18 can be moved between their parents homes”. The guidance also emphasised that parents had the ability to move their children between separate households but should clearly exercise judgement in doing so if they perceive there to be a risk of Infection.
The Prime Minister Boris Johnson when announcing the Christmas bubble rules said “ Christmas is a time to be Jolly but also to be Jolly careful” and although specific rules have been set for the Christmas period children from separated households do not affect the bubble arrangements.
The rules are that between the 23rd and 27th of December 2020 you can form an exclusive Christmas bubble composed of people from no more than three households. You can only be in one Christmas bubble and you cannot change your Christmas bubble. You can travel between tiers and UK nations for the purposes of meeting your Christmas bubble.
The rules are helpfully clear here when it states that children whose parents do not live together may be part of both parents Christmas bubbles. Nobody else, other than children of separated parents should be in more than one Christmas bubble.
The link to the bubble guidance can be found here