Full details of Welsh housing market ‘circuit-breaker’ rules published

First Minister says short, sharp shock will save lives and include bans on gatherings and travel, and closure of most non-food businesses.

covid lockdown

Estate agents have been told the full consequences of the two-week lockdown starting this Friday at 6pm for its ‘circuit-breaker’ Covid fortnight.

Due to end on November 9th, the temporary lockdown will effectively close down large swathes of the housing market; non-essential, non-food businesses must close their premises and some visits to properties will be outlawed under the new rules, as will non-essential travel. As in everything Covid, the rules are a patchwork of compromises.

The rules
  • Can home moves take place?
    Yes, if people can’t delay the moving date until after the short lockdown period is over. Associated activities, for example, removals processes, property preparation, handover of keys, surveys and valuations can also take place in line with guidance on working in other people’s homes.
  • Can home viewings take place?
    No. Property viewings cannot take place during the circuit breaker period and high street estate agencies are required to close. Virtual viewings can continue.
  • Can a mortgage survey be done at a property?
    Surveyors should not enter occupied properties during the lockdown period. Vacant properties can be entered and street level surveys can take place.

Outside of these rules, no gatherings will be permitted in Wales during the circuit-breaker between people who do not live together, either indoors or outdoors.

Protect NHS

Making the announcement, First Minister Mark Drakeford (above) said: “Unless we act the NHS will not be able to look after the increasing number of people who are falling ill due to this deadly virus.

“This is the shortest we can make it, but will be sharp and deep.”

The First Minister also confirmed that students will be required to lockdown in their student accommodation.  He also revealed an enhanced package of Covid support for businesses including an additional £300 million added to the country’s Economic Resilience Fund.

SME businesses including agents will also automatically be given £5,000 if they are required to close – although the Welsh government has yet to confirm if this will include estate agencies.

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