Previously, co-parental visiting during the lockdown in England was allowed, however with the new tiered enforcements, parents were unable to visit their children that live far away.
The new use of staying in a hotel reportedly came into effect on Boxing Day, and now can be applied regardless of the tiered lockdown restrictions in England.
The change in regulations follows on from a campaign made by ex-BBC journalist Tom De Castella, who told the BBC that the worst part of the pandemic was being unable to see his daughter.
De Castella said: “She’s three-years-old and lives in north Norfolk with her mum. I live in south London, the drive is about three and a half hours each way. It’s a long day, to do it two days running is a killer.
“Going as a separated parent was deemed to be a ‘leisure’ purpose by the hotel as only key workers could stay. I checked the rules, there was nothing to treat me as an exemption to the lockdown rules. It had a massive bearing on seeing my daughter.”
He added: “This is about building a bond with your child, it’s crucial to their development. It was massively frustrating for me. For my job I was allowed to go up there and stay in a hotel. But to stay there to spend time with my daughter after months apart was effectively banned.”