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Judge Says Mom Was “Wrong” Taking Son to Paros to Flee COVID-19 in the UK

LONDON, UK – A Greek mother who took her 11 year-old son to stay with her mother in Paros to flee the coronavirus outbreak in the UK is now in a legal battle with her estranged husband, also Greek, who asked the courts in Greece and the UK that the boy be returned to London where the family had resided for over two years, the Daily Mail reported.

The boy’s father said that “the boy was wrongly taken from London to Paros without his permission,” the Daily Mail reported, adding that the ruling was published on May 1 “by a judge overseeing family court litigation in London.”

Mr. Justice Mostyn, “who oversaw a recent private hearing, said “the family could not be identified in media reports of the case,” the Daily Mail reported, adding that the judge “has adjourned the London litigation and says a judge in Greece should hear evidence from the woman and make decisions.”

“The woman left London with the boy on March 20, three days before Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a national lockdown, and travelled to her mother's home on Paros, Mr. Justice Mostyn said in his ruling,” the Daily Mail reported.

The judge said, “She did so in the belief that she and [the boy] would be much safer from the virus there. That may well have been a valid view, it being common knowledge that by virtue of pre-emptive action, Greece has a much lower rate of infection and mortality than this country. However that does not justify in the slightest what was a wrongful removal of [the boy] from the place of his habitual residence and, more importantly, from his father,” the Daily Mail reported.

“The woman had emailed her estranged husband's lawyers to explain why she left,” Mr. Justice Mostyn said, the Daily Mail reported, adding the woman’s comments, “I do not intend to stay in Greece permanently. The main reason that I have come to Greece is that I am very afraid of the coronavirus and I want to do whatever I can to keep [my son and me] safe from it. The small Greek island where my mother lives, where [we] are now staying with her, is naturally isolated from the mainland and has its own medical facilities. It is absolutely safe for until now there were zero incidents of coronavirus contamination. I believe that it is a much safer place to be for us… given the numbers of people [who are] affected and die in London on a daily basis… When I arrived in Greece it was not in complete lockdown, since we got here they have closed the borders and traveling is banned completely and I don't think that I could even return now to England if I wanted to – which I do not at this time as I believe staying in Greece gives [my son] a much better chance in this pandemic.”

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