A dad has spoken of his "heartbreaking" pain at not being able to see his four-year-old daughter during lockdown because they do not live in the same household.

Although the government has made an exception for children under the age of 18 to move between households during the coronavirus lockdown, the overriding message is not to mix households to help prevent the spread of the deadly disease.

Many separated parents have made the decision to keep children in one household throughout lockdown, meaning many non-resident parents have been left not knowing when they will be able to hug their own children again.

Dad of one David Wade, 31, of west Hull said the decision to not see his "best friend" is getting more painful every day, and really frustrating for him when he sees other people going out and flouting social distancing rules.

David Wade, with his daughter Gracie

He last saw his daughter Gracie, four, on Tuesday, March 24, but is used to seeing her every Wednesday night and every single weekend from Saturday to Monday morning.

He made the joint decision together with Gracie's mum on the day of lockdown for her to stay at her main home - to help keep Gracie safe.

The warehouse operative said: "I've made the choice not to see my four year old daughter and its killing me not seeing her.

"The more people that do this (gather in crowds in the streets), the longer I don't see her and its affecting my mental health.

"We just made the decision to keep her in one household to help stop the spread of the virus I just want her to be safe at the end of the day.

"I just love being a dad. I just feel like I've lost a part of me she's my little best friend.

"We are just so scared about this situation I'm literally losing sleep over it all.

David Wade says he is missing his "best friend"

"I maybe won't see her until this is over, I just miss her so much. The longest I haven't seen her in the past is three days so this is really hurting me. I didn't realise it would be this bad."

Mr Wade spoke out after seeing large groups of people gathering in the street near where he lives in west Hull.

He said he continues to be frustrated when he is taking such lengths to protect himself and his daughter against coronavirus, whilst others openly flout lockdown rules.

During lockdown Mr Wade is also unable to see his girlfriend who he does not live with, and his girlfriend's children.

David Wade does not live in the same household as his daughter, 4

He said: "I'm finding it hard not seeing my girlfriend and her kids too, she's moved back in with her parents to help them out, she is a carer and doing a fantastic job, I'm so proud of her.

"To people still going out, I would say please, I'm begging you to stay home and don't leave your house, I'm worried for my daughter's life, as it is taking the lives of children now.

Children who have separated parents can continue to stay at both their mum and dad’s houses during the coronavirus lockdown.

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The government has written a separated parents’ clause into its latest strict lockdown rules to ensure children whose parents don’t live together are not prevented from seeing both parents.

It states: "Where parents do not live in the same household, children under 18 can be moved between their parents' homes."

However, the government has pointed out that this clause does not mean children "have" to move between households, and says parents should discuss together what is best for their child and their own circumstances.