Gove U-turns after saying children cannot travel between separated parents under new coronavirus restrictions

Senior Cabinet minister Michael Gove has been forced to clarify that children with separated parents can in fact travel between their two homes after causing confusion about the Government’s coronavirus restrictions.

Mr Gove had earlier said on Good Morning Britain (GMB) children under 18 should not be moving between two parents' homes, and "should stay in the household that they are currently in".

But shortly after his appearance on the ITV show, Mr Gove issued a clarification on Twitter and apologised, saying he "wasn’t clear enough earlier".

The official Government guidance states: “Where parents do not live in the same household, children under 18 can be moved between their parents’ homes.”

Later Mr Gove gave further clarification to ITV News, saying "obviously we want to reduce the amount of movement as much as possible but for obvious reasons, for compassionate reasons, we want to make sure that children can move between parents' homes".

On GMB, Mr Gove caused confusion by saying children should not move between separated parents.

“No you should not (move),” he said.

“Children should stay in the household that they are currently in, we should not have children moving between households.”

Mr Gove suggested contact with the other parent could be made through social media or other technology and acknowledged the situation was “incredibly difficult”.

GMB presenter Piers Morgan demanded “urgent clarity” from the Cabinet minister, pointing out his comment “directly contradicts” the official guidance.

On Twitter, Mr Gove corrected his mistake, saying: “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.”

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