A woman who took her 11-year-old son to a Greek island to protect him from COVID-19 should not have done so, a UK judge said.
The boy’s father wants judges in Greece and London to order he is returned to England.
He says the boy was taken from London to Paros, a Greek island in the Aegean Sea, without his permission.
Mr Justice Mostyn, who oversaw a recent private hearing in London, said the man and woman are both Greek but had lived in London for more than two years.
Details of the dispute emerged on Friday in a ruling published by the judge overseeing family court litigation in London, but he said the family could not be identified in media reports.
He has adjourned the case and says a judge in Greece should hear evidence from the woman and make a decision.
The woman left London with her son on 20 March, three days before Boris Johnson announced a national lockdown, and travelled to her mother’s home in Paros, Mr Justice Mostyn said in his ruling.
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“She did so in the belief that she and (the boy) would be much safer from the virus there,” he said.
“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.”
Image: The boy’s father wants judges to order his son is brought back to London from Paros in the Aegean Sea
She had emailed her estranged husband’s lawyers to explain why she left, Mr Justice Mostyn said.
“I do not intend to stay in Greece permanently,” she had said.
“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.
“I do not know exactly when we will return, but that is because the whole situation is moving so quickly and no-one knows what things will be like in two weeks let alone a month.
“When I arrived in Greece it was not in complete lockdown.
“Since we got here they have closed the borders and travelling 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.”
There have been 2,591 coronavirus cases confirmed in Greece, with none in Paros, while the UK had seen 177,454 cases and 27,510 deaths by Friday.
Source : Sky News