25 March, 2020
As we continue to navigate through these unprecedented times, the Government has now provided advice for couples that do not cohabit. In essence, the advice is that couples are banned from visiting and staying at each other's houses whilst the country remains in lock-down.
The Prime Minister's advice was that the nation needed to stay at home and that people should only leave for food, medicine, exercise and work if absolutely necessary. In the circumstances, it does not consider that couples meeting would fall under that category, so those who are dating should not visit their partner's house.
This, therefore, leads to a difficult question for those that have not yet taken the plunge into a cohabiting relationship. Do they remain apart or do they take the plunge and move in together, which then leads to a very intense immediate cohabitation of isolation? Either way, the Government, and particularly Matt Hancock who is the Health Secretary, has said that couples have to make a tough choice. His words were "Make a choice and stick with it". The Government had already provided advice for separated parents and has now given advice for non-cohabiting couples.
The penalty for going out without good reason is due to come into force from Thursday, police will have the power to issue £30 fines however if there are persistent breaches, significantly higher fines are likely to be introduced.
Whilst the rules may seem stringent, the emphasis here is to make sure that there is proper social distancing to reduce the opportunities for transfer of COVID-19 and to save lives.
For more information contact Rubina Vohra in our Family/Divorce department via email or phone on 01254 580 000. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.