Christmas Bubbles for Separated Parents
As part of the Government’s announcement that we will all be able to form a Christmas bubble with up to three households from the 23rd to the 27th of December, one important question arises for separated parents:
How does this affect children moving between homes at Christmas?
We hope our guidance below gives you a clear steer in the right direction, but if you need any extra advice, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.
What are the Christmas bubble rules?
- The Christmas bubble is only for 23-27 December 2020;
- You can only be in one Christmas bubble, unless you are a child under the age of 18 with separated parents who are in separate Christmas bubbles;
- Christmas bubbles cannot be changed;
- Christmas bubbles are limited to people from no more than three households;
- People can travel between tiers and the UK for the purposes of meeting their Christmas bubble;
- You can only meet your Christmas bubble in private homes, gardens, places of worship or outdoor public spaces;
- You can keep meeting others outside your Christmas bubble outside your home, according to the rules of your tier at the time; and
- You cannot form a Christmas bubble if you are self-isolating or showing Covid-19 symptoms.
So, what does this mean for separated parents?
As shown above, separated parents are not required to form part of the same Christmas bubble as their ex-partner. Children under the age of 18 can move between their separated parents’ separate Christmas bubbles, which could potentially mean they are able to come into contact with up to six separate households if each of their parents form a Christmas bubble with two other households.
There is no requirement that separated parents have to agree to each other’s respective Christmas bubbles before children move between households either, though many separated parents may want to communicate with each other about this ahead of the Christmas period to discuss what measures will be taken to try and minimise the risk of catching or spreading the virus.
The government has also advised people that two weeks prior and during the period of Christmas bubbles, i.e. two weeks prior to and from 23 to 27 December 2020, people should reduce any unnecessary contact with people outside of this Christmas bubble as much as possible.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with child care arrangements with an ex-partner, or you are facing difficulties with any children matters whatsoever, please don’t hesitate to contact the Maguire Family Law team today so we can look to assist you in any way we can. We are a team of expert family solicitors who are on hand to deal with any children issues you might be facing.