Visitation rights and alternating weeks in a state of national emergency
Children have the right to maintain contact with both of their parents. This right must be enforced in all situations. The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) has put together a FAQ page about the coronavirus situation. The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare’s website gives parents the following instructions on visitation rights during the pandemic:
- If possible, organise the child’s visitation and alternating residence in the way you have previously agreed on.
- If necessary, agree on temporary solutions that may deviate from your normal visitation and living arrangements. In each solution, pay attention to the realisation of the rights of the child, such as the right to keep in touch with persons close to the child.
- Discuss your child’s situation together. By cooperating, parents can create a sense of security in the child and respect the child’s rights.
- Carry out the visitation arrangements bearing in mind the health and safety of the child and the child’s close circles, while adjusting for the child’s individual situation.
- In the arrangements, pay attention to whether there are any persons belonging to the risk groups living in the child’s homes. For example, in a family where one child is in a risk group and the others are not, stronger protective measures can be taken for the child who is at risk compared to the other children.
- If a member of the child’s other family falls ill, keep the child in the family where he or she is not at risk of falling ill.
- If the child contracts the coronavirus disease, he or she must recover before you can return to the normal arrangements. If the child falls ill, the guardian who is present is responsible for the child’s care.
- If the authorities have ordered you to quarantine, follow the official instructions for quarantine. An official authority may also strongly recommend avoiding contact voluntarily.
- Use phone calls and video calls for keeping in touch if you have to reduce the number of face-to-face meetings to protect other people.