Can children visit separated parents during UK lockdown? Government explains advice

Senior Cabinet minister Michael Gove has caused confusion about the Government's coronavirus restrictions after suggesting children with parents living apart should not travel between them.

Tuesday, 24th March 2020, 10:33 am

Mr Gove was forced to correct his remarks to confirm that children under 18 were permitted to move between their parents' homes.

The official Government guidance states: “Where parents do not live in the same household, children under 18 can be moved between their parents' homes.”

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Advice has been issued to separated parents with children during the coronavirus crisis. David Cheskin/PA Wire

But on ITV's Good Morning Britain, Mr Gove said children should not move between separated parents.

“No you should not (move),” he said.

“Children should stay in the household that they are currently in, we should not have children moving between households.”

Mr Gove suggested contact with the other parent could be made through social media or other technology and acknowledged the situation was ‘incredibly difficult’.

GMB presenter Piers Morgan demanded ‘urgent clarity’ from the Cabinet minister, pointing out his comment ‘directly contradicts’ the official guidance.

But on Twitter, Mr Gove corrected his mistake, saying: “I wasn't clear enough earlier, apologies.

“To confirm - while children should not normally be moving between households, we recognise that this may be necessary when children who are under 18 move between separated parents.

“This is permissible and has been made clear in the guidance.”

Public Health England figures show there were 6,650 confirmed cases in the UK yesterday and the death toll had reached 335.

There were 106 cases in Sheffield.