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Coronavirus: Fearne Cotton has an important message for step-families during isolation

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Hollie Richardson
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Fearne Cotton

If you are part of a “blended” family, Fearne Cotton’s latest Instagram video might be of some reassurance right now.

Staying indoors for the next few weeks isn’t what anybody wants. But for lots of families around the UK under certain circumstances, it’s even more difficult. Key workers are still putting themselves at risk every day because they simply have to go out and work. Parents need to juggle homeschooling with working from home. And a lot of people are trying to self-isolate in shared houses.

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It’s tough for everyone, and all we can really do to help each other is show our love and support (and of course only leave the house if absolutely necessary).

That’s why Fearne Cotton’s latest Instagram video will be comforting for any step-families out there. The Happy Place broadcaster talked about her “blended family” and shared some personal advice for anyone else in similar familial situation.

While homeschooling her young son, Cotton uploaded the video to her Instagram on Tuesday (24 March). She started by thanking the NHS and key workers for their “strength and resilience”.

She then explained: “I, like many of you, am part of a blended family, and after last night’s announcement [from Boris Johnson] it’s really difficult to know how to play that because my step-kids come and go from both houses – from our house to their mum and step dad’s.”

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Cotton continued: “From what we’ve read we think the best approach to take is [that] as long as both sets of parents have no symptoms or children and haven’t had for the last two weeks, we should be able to continue having the kids dropped off, or pick them so that we can spend time with them. Because the thought of not seeing them, for god knows how long, is tricky.”

So what is the official advice for parents who share custody of their children?

The government guidance says: “Where parents do not live in the same household, children under 18 can be moved between their parents’ homes.”

Minister Michael Gove also tweeted: “I wasn’t clear enough earlier, apologies. To confirm – while children should not normally be moving between households, we recognise that this may be necessary when children who are under 18 move between separated parents. This is permissible and has been made clear in the guidance.”

You can read all Stylist’s latest news and advice on coronavirus here.

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Images: Getty

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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…