The Ministry of Health has issued guidelines on what is required of people during the Level 4 restrictions.  When it comes to shared care, the guidelines make it clear that most shared care arrangements will be able to continue, provided that the parties are in a shared bubble arrangement. Further guidelines have also been issued by various other agencies to help caregivers minimise the risk of spreading the virus. 

What is a ‘shared bubble’?

A shared bubble is:

  • Two households only – no other movement.
  • All adults in the households have to consent to the shared care arrangement to take place.
  • The households must be in the same or adjacent Health Board Districts.
  • The shared care arrangement can be a visit only or stay for all or part of the period.

Travel advice:

Where children are going between homes, the following measures are recommended to minimise the risk of spreading the virus:

  • Children should be accompanied by an adult when moving between homes.
  • Private vehicles should be used, where possible.
  • Public transport can be used where there are no alternatives.
  • Personal hygiene measures should be observed (for instance staying at least 2 meters away from other travellers, wearing masks and gloves, using hand sanitiser, and frequent handwashing).

Parties are also advised to keep with them a copy of a parenting order or parenting agreement to explain why they are travelling.

Special measures when there is illness or suspected illness:

In case of illness, further restrictions may need to be put in place.  Parents are advised that children should not travel between homes in the following circumstances:

  • Children are unwell;
  • Someone in either home is unwell; 
  • Someone in either home has been overseas in the last 14 days;
  • Someone in either home is currently being tested, or has tested positive for COVID-19; or
  • Someone in either home has been in close contact with someone who has, or is, currently being tested for COVID-19.

Some shared care arrangements will not be able to continue:

What will happen if you do not fit within the guidelines.

Resolving disputes via Mediation or attending Family Court during the restrictions.

Leading law firms committed to helping clients cost-effectively will have a range of fixed-priced Initial Consultations to suit most people’s needs in quickly learning what their options are.  At Rainey Collins, we have an experienced family law team, who can answer your questions and put you back on track. 

We are set up to help you remotely by telephone or video call. 


Please note that Rainey Collins is not contracted to provide Legal Aid, other than in the Treaty of Waitangi area.  We therefore are unable to take on any Civil or Family Legal Aid work. If you require Legal Aid in those areas, you can search the list of Legal Aid lawyers on the Ministry of Justice website.