The Minister of Social Development Separated parents have announced that separated parents are now allowed to move their children between houses during the COVID-19 lockdown, provided they meet certain legal requirements.

Government had up to now been unclear about the issue. Children had to remain with one parent throughout the lockdown period and movement between parents was strictly prohibited. The Minister of Social Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu, MP, however announced new regulations for separated or divorced parents. The new regulations regarding this matter was gazetted on Tuesday, 7 April.

The new regulations give clear directions to contain the spread of COVID -19 in exercising the care and contact by persons who are co-holders of parental responsibilities and rights, or a caregiver during the lockdown period. Here are amended regulations:

  1. Movement of children, during the lockdown period, between co-holders of parental responsibilities and rights, or a caregiver, is prohibited except where arrangements are in place for a child to move from one parent to another, in terms of-
  • (a) a court order; or
  • (b) where a parental responsibilities and rights agreement or parenting plan, registered with the family advocate, is in existence, provided that, in the household to which the child is to move, 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 known to have contracted, or reasonably suspected to have contracted, COVID
  • The parent of caregiver transporting the child concerned have in his or her possession, the court order or the agreement referred to in items (a) and (b), respectively, or a certified copy thereof.
  1. A Social Worker’s report is also deemed to be sufficient for the admission of service users in treatment centres and Halfway Houses during the lockdown period.

If you need any clarity on these regulations or have any concerns about the well-being of your children in the current circumstances that requires urgent attention, do not hesitate to contact us for the necessary legal advice.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

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