This statement is incorrect. This is not the official guidance and Mr Gove has since clarified the Government's official guidance in relation to this important matter.
Specifically, Mr Gove tweeted the following shortly after his BBC announcement:-
"I wasn't clear enough earlier, apologies. To confirm - while children should not normally be moving between households, we recognise that this may be necessary when children who are under 18 move between separated parents. This is permissible and has been made clear in the guidance."
Therefore, separated parents living in different households can continue to share the care of their children in accordance with any pre-existing care arrangement or court order while continuing to take reasonable precautions in light of the Government's latest advice and restrictions. Every family's situation will be different, but common sense and flexibility must be adopted in these difficult and challenging times. There should be a greater emphasis on using online devices to supplement and enhance the time between 'normal' periods of contact with the other parent. Parents must also be mindful and recognise that their child may be feeling unsettled or anxious at the moment anyway as a consequence of their world changing as they know it (even if those changes are only temporary). Children need their parents and loved ones to try and work together now more than ever to avoid any further unnecessary disruptions and changes to their daily routine.
It is worth saying that the Government's guidance on this matter is, strictly speaking, applicable in England and Wales, but is highly likely to be followed here in Scotland.
The court's resources in relation to determining family law disputes are limited and courts are only now dealing with urgent child protection matters. Therefore, the Scottish courts are explicitly encouraging separated parents and their agents to continue to work towards a mutual resolution where possible. If there is not a pre-existing care arrangement or a court order in place regulating the care arrangements and you and your ex-partner/spouse are struggling to agree on how best to make arrangements in these extremely unusual circumstances, or you have concerns about what the Government's guidance means for you and your family, please contact a member of our team. We would be happy to assist and have both specialist solicitors qualified in Scots Law as well as England and Wales.