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All of our centers comply with Covid 19 government guidelines, each time we get a new set of guidelines we complete a Covid health and Safety Check.
We ensure family use face covering and we also as families to bring along there own mask or face covering, for children we that are fearful of the face mask that a face shield is used.
below we have added the legal guidelines in our covid 19 rules section
For any more information please se the uk Government we site for more details.
On 4th January 2021 the government announced a third national lockdown which imposes more restrictive measures than the tier system and encourages people to stay at home as much as possible. Guidance on the current national lockdown can be found here.
The lockdown applies to all of England and replaces the tier system.
You should not leave your home unless you have a reasonable excuse to do so. It is deemed to be a reasonable excuse for people to leave their home to allow arrangements for a child to have contact when they do not live with both of their parents or guardians.
Generally, a parent can decide where to take the child and how the time will be spent. However, this must be reasonable and comply with the government guidance which is in place at the time of the contact.
If you have a Child Arrangements Order, even if you were concerned about the risk of infection, preventing the other parent from having their court-ordered contact would still be a breach of the court order.
If parents can agree, they can both decide to vary the court order temporarily and informally. However, this is not legally binding, and the original order would still be in effect.
The President of the Family Division released some guidance back in March 2020 entitled
‘Coronavirus Crisis: Guidance on Compliance with Family Court Child Arrangement Orders’ (CAO). This guidance states that:
“Where parents do not agree to vary the arrangements set out in a CAO, but one parent is sufficiently concerned that complying with the CAO arrangements would be against current PHE/PHW advice, then that parent may exercise their parental responsibility and vary the arrangement to one that they consider to be safe. If, after the event, the actions of a parent acting on their own in this way are questioned by the other parent in the Family Court, the court is likely to look to see whether each parent acted reasonably and sensibly in the light of the official advice and the Stay at Home Rules in place at that time, together with any specific evidence relating to the child or family.
Where, either as a result of parental agreement or as a result of one parent on their own varying the arrangements, a child does not get to spend time with the other parent as set down in the CAO, the courts will expect alternative arrangements to be made to establish and maintain regular contact between the child and the other parent within the Stay at Home Rules, for example remotely – by Face-Time, WhatsApp Face-Time, Skype, Zoom or other video connection or, if that is not possible, by telephone.”
The Guidance concludes with the following key message: “where Coronavirus restrictions cause the letter of a court order to be varied, the spirit of the order should nevertheless be delivered by making safe alternative arrangements for the child”.
The President has also warned that parents acting in a cynical and opportunistic manner is wrong, and the courts will regard it as wrong.
Regulation 2 The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self-Isolation) (England) Regulations 2020 states that if an adult or child has tested positive for Covid-19 or has come in close contact with someone with Covid-19, they are required to self-isolate. You are also required to self-isolate when travelling back to the UK from abroad, unless that country is exempt. You can see that guidance here.
The regulations state that where someone is required to self-isolate, they must remain in:
That person self-isolating must not leave the above specified places, except where necessary. The regulation does NOT list visiting a parent whom a child does not usually live with as a reason why a person self-isolating may leave the house.
The governmental guidance on self-isolation states that if you live with someone with COVID-19 symptoms or a positive test result, you should stay at home for 14 days. This is because you may have been exposed to the virus and could pass it on to others, even if you don’t have symptoms. You can see that guidance here.
However, if you are a contact of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, but you do not have symptoms, other people living with you do not need to self-isolate and should follow the general guidance. If you do develop symptoms, you should arrange to have a test. If you live with other people, they will need to begin self-isolation at home while you wait for your test result. You can see that guidance here.
The National Association of Child Contact Centres (NACCC) is the supporting membership body for around 350 child contact centres and services located throughout England.
They have a page on Covid-19 which you can find here. This page also details the different alert levels, and what that means for contact centres.
In June 2020, the NACCC states that they are “recommending that centres make independent decisions about whether they feel able to re-open their services.”
If you have been impacted by a contact centre closure, you should contact the NACCC directly, or your contact centre to find out what services are available. You can find contact details of your local contact centre, or the contact centre used here.
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