Lockdown- New Regulations for Separated Parents and the Movement of Children

Up until 7 April 2020, in terms of the Disaster Management Act regulations provided that no child was allowed to be moved between parents for the purposes of contact or care during the lockdown period.

The Regulations have now been amended as follows:

Movement of children between co-holders of parental rights and responsibilities during the lockdown is prohibited, except where arrangements are in place for a child to move from one parent to another in terms of a court order or a parenting plan registered with the Family Advocate.

However this new development is subject to the proviso that there is no person who is known to have come into contact with, or is reasonably suspected to have come into contact with, a person who is known to have contracted, or reasonably expected to have contracted, Covid-19 in the household in which they intend to be moved.

This is welcoming news for those parents who have had to forego their special holiday time with their children over the lockdown period, but it remains to be seen how the proviso is regarding the “reasonable suspicion” of that parent having contracted the Covid-19 virus, will affect the successful implementation of this new regulation.