About turn on the rules governing the movement of children during the Covid-19 lockdown


When South Africa first went into Covid-19 lockdown the government made it clear that it would not allow children to move between separated parents during the lockdown period. Court orders notwithstanding, parents had to choose who would look after the children during the entire period. The only contact that these children could have with the other parent would be via social media. In South Africa this potentially affects about half a million parents. 


This week the law was amended allowing children to move between the homes of both parents. This means that parents can now comply with court orders, and parenting plans that have been agreed under the guidance of a family attorney. There are some provisos to the change. The home must be Covid-19 free. Parents can request a test. The other option is to wait out an incubation period of 14 to 21 days. 



To transport your child legally you must have a copy of the court order or a letter from the Office of the Family Advocate to the effect that there is such an agreement between the parents. Parents who have by agreement simply shared custody of the child without a court order are still prohibited from moving their children between homes. So, ironically, those parents who have kept on friendly terms for the sake of the children are now prohibited from seeing them.