I live in Scotland - can I still travel elsewhere in Scotland to see my child?
The relaxations over the festive period are now limited to Christmas Day, and most of the country will enter Scottish "Level 4" restrictions from Boxing Day. However, the same exemptions will continue to apply in relation to most situations relevant to separated families, as set out in Schedule 5 of the Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions and Requirements) (Local Levels) (Scotland) Regulations 2020, found here. These allow exemptions to restrictions on movement where this is to "participate in or facilitate shared parenting arrangements"; "access, provide or receive childcare"; or "where the person is a member of an extended household, visit a member of the household which forms the other part of the extended household and who lives outwith the area in which the person lives or, as the case may be, in a Level 4 area". These exemptions would seem to allow travel across Scotland for those reasons.
I live in England - can I still travel to Scotland to see my child?
The equivalent English regulations are The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (All Tiers) (England) Regulations 2020, as amended by the latest Regulations (The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (All Tiers and Obligations of Undertakings) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2020, in force from 7am on 20 Dec): https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/1611/regulation/2/ made These say that no one in an English Tier 4 area may leave the place where they are living "without reasonable excuse". The examples given of such reasonable excuse include "for the purposes of arrangements for access to, and contact between, parents and a child where the child does not live in the same household as their parents or one of their parents".
The English exception together with the Scottish exemption for shared parenting therefore seem to allow cross-border intra UK travel between Scotland and England, for shared care child arrangements.
One potential difference when crossing from Scotland to England (or vice versa) as opposed to travelling within Scotland might be in relation to "extended households". A single parent might have formed an "extended household" with elderly parents, and understandably want to travel with the children to see them. Neither the Scottish nor the English regulations (with the English equivalent of "linked households") seem to explicitly say whether extended/linked households can be formed between Scotland and England. If not, then it would be possible to form an extended household between Edinburgh and Inverness, but not between Carlisle and Glasgow.
I live outside the UK - can I still travel to Scotland to see my child?
Subject to travel restrictions from that country, yes, you can.
However, on entry into the UK, and depending where you have travelled from, you may be subject to quarantine. Provided other Covid-19 restrictions are adhered to, there would seem nothing to prevent your child joining you in self-isolation - but clearly that may limit your ability to do activities and recreation with your child.
I'm having difficulty agreeing care arrangements with my ex-partner, and Covid-19 restrictions are making things worse!
That's totally understandable. The restrictions are changing fast, and many people, regardless of their circumstances, are finding things stressful and difficult at present. If your time with your child is at stake, that makes things considerably worse.
If you need help working out the best way forward, please contact us. A good family lawyer will aim to find a constructive way forward, whether through advice, discussion or mediation, rather than inflaming the situation. However, there are times when urgent court action whether in Scotland, England or Wales is the best way forward to get to a sensible outcome, and we can assist with that when necessary.