Updated government guidance on home moves for vaccinated and unvaccinated

Updated government guidance on home moves for vaccinated and unvaccinated

12:36 PM, 9th January 2022, About A week ago

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The housing market in England remains open. This means that people looking to move home can both continue with planned moves and view new properties to move into in the future.  >> https://www.gov.uk/guidance/moving-home-during-coronavirus-covid-19

Private rented and social housing sectors: Those renting a property, letting agents and landlords should be aware of and follow the government guidance on coronavirus and renting which contains further advice that may also be applicable such as on possession proceedings, repairs, maintenance and health and safety.

Vaccinated and Unvaccinated

  • if you are aged 18 years 6 months or over and you are not fully vaccinated, and you live in the same household as someone with COVID-19, you are legally required to stay at home and self-isolate
  • if you are fully vaccinated or aged under 18 years and 6 months, and you live in the same household as someone with COVID-19, you are not legally required to self-isolate. However, you are strongly advised to take an Lateral Flow Device (LFD) test every day for 7 days, and to self-isolate if any of these test results is positive

It is now possible to end self-isolation after 7 days, following two negative LFD tests taken 24 hours apart. The first LFD test should not be taken before the sixth day.

You should not expect to immediately be able to move into any home where people have COVID-19 or are self-isolating. There is a greater risk that home moves may need to be delayed if someone in the transaction shows symptoms of COVID-19 or is self-isolating.

Viewings

Aside from self-isolation rules as detailed above, there are no legal limits on the households which may view a home in person. We would, however, continue to recommend that buyers take advantage of any opportunities to view homes remotely before committing to view in person.

In indoor settings where a face covering is not legally required, you should continue to wear a face covering in enclosed spaces where you may come into contact with other people you do not normally meet. It is important that everyone continues to follow the safe hygiene practices as described above, and you should let in fresh air if people are viewing your property.

Tradespeople in the home

Tradespeople can continue to work in other people’s homes unless customers or tradespeople are self-isolating, as detailed above. In indoor settings where a face covering is not legally required, you should continue to wear a face covering in enclosed spaces where you may come into contact with other people you do not normally meet.

Members of the public should ensure their homes are clean and safe before tradespeople enter. This may involve cleaning items being carried by removals firms, wiping surfaces such as worktops and door handles, letting fresh air into rooms, and seeking to delay work if either party is showing COVID-19 symptoms.

Managing uncertainty

All parties involved in home buying and selling should prioritise agreeing amicable arrangements to change completion dates where someone in a chain or their family member is self-isolating or has tested positive for coronavirus.

Once you have exchanged contracts or signed a tenancy agreement, you have entered into a legal agreement to purchase or rent the property. We encourage all parties to be as flexible as possible and be prepared to delay moves if necessary; for example if someone involved in the transaction becomes ill with COVID-19 during the moving process, or has to self-isolate.

If you are about to enter into a legally binding contract, you should discuss the possible implications of COVID-19 with your legal professional and consider making contractual provisions or other necessary measures to manage these risks.

General advice to industry and those moving home

We urge everyone involved in the home buying and selling process to continue to follow good hygiene practices, including regular hand-washing, sanitising, and cleaning. These measures will help prevent the spread of infection.

We encourage all parties involved to be as flexible as possible and be prepared to delay moves, for example if one of those involved becomes ill with COVID-19 during the moving process or has to self-isolate.

Face coverings

In England, face coverings are now required by law in most indoor public places and on public transport. Face coverings must be worn by members of staff in estate agent premises. With regards to visiting property, face coverings should be worn in accordance with the guidelines set out below.

Staff should wear face coverings when they are likely to come into close contact with members of the public. This means that the agent and anyone else visiting the property should consider wearing a face covering as they may come into contact with people they do not normally meet during a viewing. Agents should make this clear to homeowners and guests prior to any viewing.

Some people, including people with disabilities, are exempt from having to wear face coverings in any setting. They do not routinely need to show any written evidence of this, and do not need to show an exemption card (though they may choose to do so).

Settings in which face coverings are required must display signage or take other measures to ensure customers are aware of the requirement to wear a face covering on their premises where there is no applicable exemption or reasonable excuse.

More information, including the full list of settings where face coverings are required or not, can be found in Face coverings: when to wear one, exemptions, and how to make your own.

Other measures

Property agents, conveyancers and other professionals may choose to retain some modifications to how they work to reduce the risk from COVID-19. These changes could impact your move and may include initial virtual viewings before in-person viewings, asking you to vacate your current property during viewings, and ensuring your property is thoroughly cleaned before someone else views it or moves in. We would ask that you cooperate with these measures where they are in place.

The government has provided detailed guidance on reducing the risk of COVID-19 in workplaces. Employers should consider this guidance when completing their health and safety risk assessment, to help them decide which mitigations to put in place.

 



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