The enhanced restrictions announced by the First Minister on 13th January require child contact centres to close in a level 4area. An exception is created, however, for child contact centres to open for the purposes of a handover of a child to a person they are not or will not be living with, and for their return from a handover to a person with whom the child is or will be living. Child contact centres provided by local authorities will be permitted to remain open.
Shared Parenting Scotland is disappointed that child contact with a parent that has to take place in a contact centre is not being allowed whereas children can still move between the households of separated parents at level 4.
We have been assured by Scottish Government that they will seek to allow child contact centres to reopen at level 4 as soon as possible as they acknowledge that interrupted contact can have a negative impact on a child’s life.
The revised guidance will also encourage handovers to take place outdoors where possible. If handovers do need to take place indoors for safety reasons for either parent or the child themselves then time indoors should be limited as should the number of people involved, face coverings should be worn and physical distancing should be maintained. The guidance will also encourage child contact centres to facilitate contact virtually where in person contact has had to stop.1 like