Guidance for Managing Shared Parenting during COVID-19 Alert Levels

You can find the below information (and more) at:

New guidance has been released about parenting arrangements at different alert levels. This includes arrangements set out in court orders under the Care of Children Act 2004 and private arrangements between caregivers of children. The information addresses some frequently asked questions as well as examples of what each alert level might look like for parents, families and whānau.  

Current COVID-19 Alert Level

Alert Level 3
At Alert Level 3, children may move between households (bubbles) under a parenting arrangement. At Alert Level 3, household bubbles can be extended from Alert Level 4 (for example, to reconnect with close family who live nearby) but must remain exclusive.

Children are no longer limited to moving between two bubbles as part of a parenting arrangement, but it is still important that the number of bubbles between which children are moved is only as large as is necessary and in line with your parenting arrangement.

There is no restriction on the distance of travel, children can move between different regions. However, only travel where you need to and follow the general rule of keeping travel to a minimum. You should take a copy of your court order or parenting arrangement with you, to help explain your travel.

Private vehicles should be used, where possible, but public transport can be used where there are no alternatives. For caregivers who have a court order, children may travel by domestic air or inter-island ferry. For the most up to date information on transport arrangements for children, please see the Ministry of Transport website:

More detailed questions and answers about parenting arrangements at Alert Level 3 can be found by following the link above.  

Other Alert Levels

Alert Level 4
At Alert Level 4, children may move between two households (bubbles) under a parenting arrangement. The travel must be within the same or adjacent District Health Boards. Long distance travel is not recommended i.e. more than an hour. The child is the only one who can swap between the two bubbles.

If children are moving between two bubbles they should be accompanied by an adult. Guidance on transport arrangements for children can be found at the Ministry of Transport website:

The Principal Family Court Judge has issued guidance at Alert Level 4, which you can find at the District Courts website: Children in Shared Care

Alert Level 2
At Alert Level 2, parenting arrangements return to normal, while still following public health guidelines.