South Africa: COVID-19 - Children Allowed to Move Between Parents' Households - in Some Cases

Government has relaxed rules dealing with parental access to children during the Covid-19 lockdown.

In regulations published late on Tuesday, Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu has bowed to pressure and exempted, in certain circumstances, children travelling between the homes of separated and divorced parents.

The regulations state that movement of children between co-holders of parental responsibilities and rights and caregivers, as defined by the Children's Act, is still prohibited.

They now provide for exceptions which include where there is a court order in place or where parents have parenting plans signed off by the office of the Family Advocate.

A proviso is that there is no person who is known to have been in contact with, or reasonably suspected to have come into contact with, a person known to have contracted Covid-19 in the household to which the child is to be moved.

The parent, or caregiver, must have in his or her possession the court order or agreement, or a certified copy thereof, when transporting the child or children.

The regulations also now allow for people to be admitted to rehabilitation centres for substance abuse or other addiction issues, but they should have authority from a social worker.

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