What to do if your child is on the other side of the border

 

 

NSW parents with children living in Queensland can travel into the Sunshine State if the visit is part of a court order or arrangement, according to Queensland Health authorities.

According to the Border Restrictions Direction, "a person who has been in a COVID-19 hotspot in the 14 days prior to entering Queensland must not enter Queensland unless (...) to fulfil a legal obligation relating to shared parenting or child contact including as part of an order or arrangement under the Child Protection Act".

A Queensland Health Q&A page confirmed quarantine will be required.

"If you are coming to Queensland with your child to complete a court ordered shared parenting or child contact arrangement you and your child will have to complete 14 days quarantine at government arranged accommodation at your own expense," the page stated.

"If you are travelling to visit a child who lives in Queensland, your child will be allowed to visit you in quarantine. You will not be allowed to leave quarantine to spend time with your child.

"You will have to apply for an exemption from the Chief Health Officer in order to send your child to Queensland from a hotspot by themselves. This is to ensure that no one under the age of 18 is unaccompanied in government arranged quarantine.

"If you do not leave the airport when transporting your child to a hotspot, you will not have to complete quarantine upon your return to Queensland.

A Queensland Health spokesperson was unable to confirm what exact documents parents needed to show at the border.

"We understand that the tightened border restrictions are difficult for some people," the spokesperson said.

"The Chief Health Officer has determined that the border restrictions are necessary to prevent serious illness and deaths.

"These are difficult decisions and we want to assure Queenslanders that every restriction is made with their safety in mind."

The Family Court of Australia warned parents back in April about restrictions to access to children in the case of border closures.

"Please ensure that you also carry current photo identification," the Family Court of Australia explained on its website.

"Ideally, you should have a hard copy of the appropriate court order, or at least, an electronic copy or photo of the court orders."

"If you are a registered user of the Commonwealth Courts Portal, you can access a copy of your Family Court or Federal Circuit Court order from www.comcourts.gov.au."

Those whose orders were made prior to June 2017 or you cannot access the Commonwealth Courts Portal, can email the National Enquiry Centre at enquiries@familylawcourts.gov.au.