At Friday’s coronavirus press conference, the Prime Minister was asked by a member of the public:
“What is the government guidance to single parents who have regular contact with children who live in a different county? I live in Kent, and my son lives in Essex. What should I do regarding contact if Essex or Kent were to be in a higher Covid alert level and the other remain at medium?”
To which Boris Johnson replied: “Well, Christopher, I think the guidance, alas, is that if – you should go on the website obviously and check – but when places go into a higher tier, from the basic medium, then there are restrictions on household contact, alas.”
He added: “So depending on how you define your household, you may find there are restrictions. But you really need to go onto the website to see where, what’s going on in Kent, what’s going on in Essex in order to be absolutely sure.”
The Prime Minister is of course correct to advise the public to check their local authority website and gov.uk for the latest details.
But parents watching the exchange might have been left with the impression that they won’t be able to see their children if they live in an area with different Covid restrictions.
And that appears to be at odds with the government’s own guidance.
The rules for areas under all three alert levels – “medium”, “high” and “very high” – contain exemptions “for arrangements where children do not live in the same household as both their parents or guardians”.