08 April 2020
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We previously reported that the national lockdown has led to the suspension of existing co-parenting arrangements and court orders, seeing as children had to stay where they were when the lockdown took effect and could not be moved between parents’ homes. This position has now changed.
During the course of the evening on 7 April 2020 the Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu, published certain amendments to the existing regulations pertaining to the movement of children between homes. The regulations now provide that if parents have an existing parenting plan which is registered with the Family Advocate or a Court Order which sets out their contact arrangements with their minor children, then the children may be moved from one household to the other in terms of the Court Order or parenting plan. Parents must have the Court Order or parenting plan or certified copies thereof with them when they travel to drop off or collect their children.
The above is of course subject thereto that the household where the child is to move must be free from Covid-19. What this means is that, before a child may be allowed to move between homes, the parents must be as certain as possible that everyone who lives in the house where the child is to go does not have the virus and must further be certain that they did not have contact with anyone who has the virus or who displayed Covid-19 like symptoms in the past.
The amended regulations are silent on the question of what happens when a parent or a child does have the virus, but until further regulations are published in clarification hereof, the understanding must be that any person who has the virus may not interact with others and where a child may be infected, said child should not move between parent’s homes.