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Covid-19 Self-Isolation and Child Arrangements

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Many people are now facing the prospect of having to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return from foreign travel. For separated parents who are travelling with children this may create additional difficulties where the other parent has remained in the UK.

Should the child travel between the separated parents homes during their 14-day period of self-isolation when they are subject to a Child Arrangements Order or is that child required to remain in one setting with the parent with whom they travelled?

Government guidance, updated on the 30th July 2020, states that when self-isolating you are not permitted to change the place that you are self-isolating except in very limited circumstances. The limited circumstances listed includes the following:

'Where a legal obligation requires you to change address, such as where you are a child whose parents live separately, and you need to move between homes as part of a shared custody agreement'

This would suggest that where there is a valid Child Arrangements Order in force the child may move between parents in accordance with the terms of the order, however they would need to continue to self-isolate at each location and the address details should be updated on the Public Health Passenger Location Form.

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If you would like any further advice regarding this, or any other family law issue, please contact a member of our specialist Family Law Team.