People visiting shops, enclosed shopping centres, banks or building societies will from today onward be required by law to wear masks.
But the regulations do not explicitly mention estate agency branches and Propertymark says it has been working with the government to seek clarification.
“Over the past two weeks, we have been seeking clarification on whether the government’s requirement for customers to wear masks when entering shops in England extends to branches of estate and lettings agents,” it says.
“We are aware that in the absence of updated guidance, there has been widespread speculation from industry commentators.”
The trade association reveals civil servants have advised that it is NOT necessary for agency staff to wear a face covering while sharing an office with the same group of colleagues, and social distancing.
“But when dealing with any type of visitor, any member of staff in proximity should wear a face covering,” says Propertymark.
“Visitors to the office should also be asked in advance to wear a face covering.”
The Negotiator has also seen separate official communication from MHCLG to the wider industry that says: “The face covering regulations do not explicitly refer to estate and letting agents but we would strongly encourage all members of the public who are visiting an agent’s office or viewing a property to wear a suitable face covering in order to prevent the spread of infection.
“We would also recommend that any agent who is interacting directly with the public also wears a face covering unless other protective measures are in place such as a screen.”