It’s the word on everyone’s lips at the moment: coronavirus. This health hazard, with its deceptively innocuous name, is rampaging through the world, causing lock-down in some territories and flight bans in others. And the advice changes from region to region, as do the attitudes. While some are breezily dismissive of the threat, casually referring to it as being no worse than a standard bout of flu, others are rightfully concerned about the danger it poses to the elderly and those with underlying conditions and impaired immune systems. In some parts of the country, mass gatherings (concerts, the races etc) go on as usual, while in others, these events are being cancelled. But what about moving house? Is it foolhardy to press on with a planned house-move, or is it, in fact, more foolhardy still to cancel? Here’s our Master Removers guide to moving during the coronavirus outbreak.
First, some good news, especially if you’re at the very outset of moving and have put a house on the market; prices are currently withstanding coronavirus, holding up as if nothing had happened or even improving. Although it’s possible that there might be a downturn, possibly severe, further down the line, for now the virus is having the effect of making buyers all the more determined to push through and get things done, so prices are actually higher than the forecasted average.
But what about the physical nuts and bolts of the moving process? As most of us know by now, the vast majority of people who contract COVID-19 will experience little more than a mild infection, with coughing and possibly at the outset a temperature. But the advice for people with symptoms (and those at increased risk, such a the elderly and those already with suppressed immune systems) is to self-isolate for at least a week (14 days for people known to have come into contact with a confirmed case), which is depleting some sections of the work-force. If your move is already booked in, it’s worth checking in with your moving company, to make sure they will be working as usual (which in all likelihood will be the case).
In the run-up to the move you can, of course, control your contact with other people. You may have the option of driving rather than using mass transport, and you can decide whether or not to go ahead with any events likely to bring you into close contact with large numbers of people (e.g. concerts). But on moving day, it’ll be worth bearing a few things in mind to keep yourself at a diminished risk.
When the moving personnel arrive at your old home to start loading vehicles, remember to keep at least three steps (two metres) away from each of them when in the confines of the home. In between tasks, wash your hands for twenty seconds with soap and water (sanitising gel is another option, but the use of hot water is thought to have a good impact on the virus).
Obviously, the general day-to-day advice applies when you’re moving house. Not only the hand-washing, but using tissues for coughs (if you’re caught short without a tissue, cough into your sleeve or the crook of your elbow) and only touching your face (eyes, nose and mouth especially) directly after cleaning your hands. You may well have thought ahead sufficiently that you’ve arranged for provisions (especially frozen foods and dry goods) to be delivered to your new home. This is often forms part of a standard move but applies especially given the current circumstances.
If you’re tempted to make a physical gesture of appreciation to your moving team, don’t go for handshakes (let alone hugs) but, as absurd as it may feel, extend your elbow. You could be protecting yourself, but you may also be protecting them.
And there’s always a silver lining; if, just after moving, you fall into the category of people encouraged to self-isolate, then think of all the time you’ll have to get to know your new place, exploring every out-of-the-way cranny. It’ll be far less tedious than if you had to self-isolate in a house with which you already have years, even decades, of familiarity.
With the adoption of these easy-to-follow bits of advice and guidance, there’s no reason why your move should be any harder or more complicated than at any other time. If you’ve booked a move with any of the Master Removers network of companies, then coronavirus or no coronavirus, we are here to answer any Master Removers network of companies, then coronavirus or no coronavirus, we are here to answer any additional questions you might have.
The situation is changing and what applied at the time of publishing may not apply at the time of reading, please check the UK government advice at www.gov.uk/coronavirus