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COVID Travel

(20 Posts)
Alohamum Thu 18-Jun-20 16:03:06

I am a first time poster and I am looking for either support or someone to just give me a reality check...

I have spent 13 weeks at home! 13 weeks of homeschooling, struggling to get online shops and generally just trying to survive as a single mum. We have done everything we have been told. Boris’ threats run through my head “people we know will be dying” it’s fair to say we have been terrorised by absolute fear of this pandemic.

I have a ten year old son who has been shielding at home with me. There is however a court order that states that my son is to travel to the USA to spend two weeks with his father. I have asked the father to come here which he is refusing to do. So technically my son and I are not allowed to travel ten miles up the road for a McDonalds but his dad can come and take him 4000 miles away on a plane. As a mother I can make the decision not to send my child to school but I can’t make a decision to not put my son at risk by travelling across the globe?!? I actually feel at an absolute loss right now as to which way to turn and I am to adhere to a court order set out in black and white.

My son is being ordered to go to a part of the USA where the infection rate continues to rise and that feels terrifying from our safe Welsh bubble where stricter guidelines mean our infection rate is decreasing.

I am interested to know how everybody else is coping and thoughts about travel? How would you feel about your children travelling? Am I being unreasonable?

OP’s posts: |
MrJollyLivesNextDoor Thu 18-Jun-20 21:46:19

So his father is coming here to take him back to the US? Why can't he just stay here with him? Surely quarantine will be an issue when they return to the UK?

C4tintherug Thu 18-Jun-20 21:49:50

He’s not allowed into the USA. Still a travel ban on for anybody that has spent the last 2 weeks in Europe or uk. It’s a non issue!

MrJollyLivesNextDoor Thu 18-Jun-20 21:51:39

I'm not familiar with how the family court system works regarding court orders etc but I would have thought they would not enforce this during a global pandemic?

Sirzy Thu 18-Jun-20 21:52:20

At the moment if there was any possibility he would be allowed to fly I would be quite happy to “lose” his passport this time and let him take you to court if he is that bothered.

MrJollyLivesNextDoor Thu 18-Jun-20 21:58:38

@Sirzy

Me too! No way would I allow DS to travel abroad right now. His dad lives abroad and we had planned for DS to go and stay with him for a few weeks over the summer but we have put that on hold by mutual agreement.

HoldMyLobster Thu 18-Jun-20 22:34:37

Is the court order from before Covid started, or since?

Is your son a US citizen? If so then he is allowed into the US. If not then I'd be surprised if he'd be allowed in.

Maduixa Thu 18-Jun-20 22:38:59

Hi Alohamum - (I'm a US and British citizen currently living outside of both countries, so have been paying close attention to the advice from both sets of governments/embassies.)

Has the court specifically said you must comply even during/in spite of the pandemic, or is it just a pre-existing ongoing order you want to honour? Is there a timeframe for when his trip must occur?

As things stand today:

1. The USA has a Worldwide Caution (for its own citizens) - Level 4: Do Not Travel
2. The UK FCO has an Exceptional Travel Advisory Notice for British nationals: avoid all but essential travel

3. The USA still has a ban on arrivals for anyone who's been in the UK in the past 14 days. Dr. Anthony Fauci of the White House Coronavirus Task Force said on Monday that this would likely stay in place "for months".

Technically, an exception would be made for your son if he is a US citizen OR if his father is a US citizen or perm resident ("green card" holder).

IF he is exempt, he must:

(1) enter at one of the approved US airports (these have special screening and isolation facilities): Atlanta (ATL), Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), Dallas, (DFW), Detroit (DTW), Ft. Lauderdale (FLL), Honolulu (HNL), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), New York (JFK or EWR), San Francisco (SFO), Seattle (SEA) and Washington (IAD)
(2) AND self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival

Also, I believe your husband will have to self-isolate for 14 days after he enters the UK, and your son will have to do so when he returns to the UK.

Even if you think the risk is acceptable (I personally would not fly at this time, but I'm not factoring the need for a child to see his father), this seems like it's going to be a very long and complicated operation if you're going ahead right away/before the regulations change.

The current restrictions (need to click on each country):
www.iatatravelcentre.com/international-travel-document-news/1580226297.htm

MadeForThis Thu 18-Jun-20 22:44:34

Great post.

BiggestJulie Thu 18-Jun-20 22:49:14

In the first place you should be clear that as a 10 year old child, unless he has significant underlying conditions, he really is not at risk of serious illness. Really not. He is at more risk getting into a car than he is from Covid, so please don’t add that to your anxiety.

However, he may very well be at risk at being stuck due to flight cancellations, and you don’t want that!

Unless he is travelling on a US passport it is extremely unlikely that he will be allowed to travel at all because Europeans are basically currently banned from entering the country. If he has an American passport he will be allowed in, but that assumes that his flight goes ahead. My impression is that most flights to and from the US are being cancelled.

If he does have a US passport, and does get in, I do think you risk difficulties getting him back, again due to flight cancellations. And if he does get back he will be subject to quarantine, which may interfere with school restarting or other aspects of family life.

Finally, as an unaccompanied 10 year old their will be other airline rules about paying for an airline guardian, which may very well not be available at the moment. Again, if you can get him there (doubtful) you might not be able to get him back.

Finally, the US is not a signatory to International Rights of the Child Treaty which (for good or ill - not always for good imo) stipulates that the child must be returned to the country where he ordinarily resides in the event of a dispute. Given the difficulties of travel at the moment his father could easily use those difficulties to keep him and you might very well not get back up from US courts.

Bottom line: no way would I send him, not because of covid, but because of the travel difficulties. Let your ex take you to court and see how far that gets him. (Not very far I am guessing, under the circumstances.)

Alohamum Fri 19-Jun-20 10:34:13

@HoldMyLobsterNo the order is pre-COVID, made in 2016 and all contact has been kept as per order. It is only the COVID restrictions that are causing concern for this years travel.

OP’s posts: |
Alohamum Fri 19-Jun-20 10:37:39

@MrJollyLivesNextDoor these are my questions which he is failing to answer. The irony is right now we cannot realistically travel and he is failing to share with me his plans for quarantine at both ends of the trip. I would like contact to happen but on this occasion it just seems more sensible for it to happen in the UK.

OP’s posts: |
Alohamum Fri 19-Jun-20 10:38:46

@C4tintherug this is what I am still struggling to understand. We are almost arguing something at the moment that hypothetically just isn't possible.

OP’s posts: |
Alohamum Fri 19-Jun-20 10:40:16

@MrJollyLivesNextDoor common sense and research does lead me to believe that there may be exemptions during the pandemic but with father pursuing legal action I am just trying to do what is right both legally and in the best interests of the child.

OP’s posts: |
Alohamum Fri 19-Jun-20 10:43:20

@BiggestJulie thank you for all the information which is really useful. Moreso than the CoVID risks my concerns are about the travel and arrangements that are ever changing. There are just so many factors at play at the moment and I struggle to understand why father can not just eliminate doubts, worries and unnecessary travel and just make this a UK visit.

OP’s posts: |
Alohamum Fri 19-Jun-20 10:48:32

Thank you @Maduixa. Some really useful advice and information. The international element does complicate things so thank you. The trip is due to happen 18th July so we do have a few weeks but it just feels like the rules are ever-changing and each area has it's own rules and regulations.

This is a pre-existing order that I am trying to honour and I had hoped father and I could have agreed to postpone overseas visit and have UK contact until we get a bit more clarification.

The information is really helpful though. Thank you. And thank you for the link.

OP’s posts: |
MrJollyLivesNextDoor Fri 19-Jun-20 10:50:43

Well assuming that the father is able to travel (subject to quarantine etc) surely the best thing all round would be for him to come here to visit your DS.

You say he is pursuing legal action - I cant imagine he would get very far with that in the current climate.

Can you get legal advice?

BiggestJulie Fri 19-Jun-20 11:03:35

The father probably knows perfectly well that he might easily get stuck here if he came.

MrJollyLivesNextDoor Fri 19-Jun-20 11:25:16

I read it as though the father was coming here anyway to pick up his son?

HoldMyLobster Fri 19-Jun-20 15:32:01

I agree with everything BiggestJulie says.

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