Social distancing for parents, grandparents and families

During the outbreak of COVID-19, the country’s lockdown presents potential issues for parents, families, single parents and separated parents. Last week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced restrictions across the UK to ‘flatten the curve’ of the Coronavirus pandemic. Our family team has covered what the lockdown means for families with different living arrangements.

Live in parents:

In a two parent family unit, children are expected to stay at home with you. Whilst work arrangement and childcare can be difficult to balance, it is important to do this to ensure none of you get ill or spread the virus. If one of you is a key worker, the remaining parent is to stay at home as a caregiver, where this is not possible, your children can be sent to

Separated parents:

If your child is under 18, child arrangements can still be fulfilled if both parents are actively self isolating – this is to ensure that neither parent or their children are endangered. It is important to bear in mind other family members – if you have a high risk individual in your household, you must put extra protective measures in place to protect them.

Protecting high risk individuals could mean you can only virtually meet your child through video calls, this is something you should discuss with all parties involved.

If one parent is a key worker, your child is expected to stay home with the other parent. However, if both parents are key workers arrangements for your child to attend school can be made.

Single parents:

Single parents should be keeping their children at home with them where possible. Employers at this time have been asked to be more flexible and supportive of parents and their child arrangements. Many parents are taking to homeschooling their kids, this can be done with online resources – and not to forget P.E. with Joe W icks !

If you are both a single parent and a key worker, your child is allowed to attend school during this time to ensure you are able to go to work.


Grandparents who are the primary caregiver for children and also meet the high risk categories should ensure that all household members are self isolating for 12 weeks to ensure the safety of their health. Where possible, food should be delivered to the household via online orders or friends and family leaving shopping on the doorstep.

Children should not be visiting grandparents if they do not live together. Children (and adults) can carry the virus with no symptoms and can potentially pass this onto older family members, putting them at risk.

It is important for both parents and children to create and keep a routine during this time, whilst it is tempting to be in your pyjamas all day you should create a structure to your family day where possible. No matter what your living arrangements, it is important to get your daily exercise for mental and physical well being, this can be taking your kids out for a bike ride, walk or jog. However, you should not be playing games, sports in public areas or visiting a play park during these times – this ensures individuals are not loitering, which would prevent the ability to keep 2m apart. Where guidelines are not obeyed, fixed penalty notices are issued by law enforcement, with each offence the penalty will double and can reach an uncapped amount.

Creating a structure and keeping routine can be done by involving your children with creating the day’s schedule. This could include kids helping with preparing meals, walking the dog, setting a designated play time and scheduling video calls with friends and family.

For those concerned about low income during this time, families with children who are eligible for free school meals are able to get food vouchers worth £15 per child per week to help with the financial strain during this time.

If you are unsure if you are a key worker, read the government guidelines . 

If you have any questions that we can help with, do not hesitate to contact us on (0191) 500 6050

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