Phew! Moving home exempted from new English lockdown

Estate and letting agents and removals firms can continue to work – but how many will feel safe enough as new variant spreads?

boris johnson guidance

Estate agents were holding their breaths this evening as Boris Johnson made the much-anticipated announcement that England is to once more return to a total lockdown.

Citing the alarming speed at which the new Covid variant identified before Christmas has been spreading through the UK, including a 20% rise in deaths over the past week alone, Johnson confirmed the lockdown.

“We need to do more together to bring this vaccine under control as our vaccines are rolled out,” he said.

But those within the property industry will be relieved to hear that home moves are to be allowed.  Or as Russell Quirk and many others put it on social media just after the Prime Minister finished his address – “Phew”.

This official guidance says: “Estate and letting agents and removals firms can continue to work.

You can still move home, the guidance says

“People outside your household or support bubble should not help with moving home unless absolutely necessary. “If you are looking to move, you can go to property viewings. Follow the national guidance on moving home safely, which includes advice on social distancing, letting fresh air in, and wearing a face covering.”

Johnson, who said the lockdown it to last at least six weeks added: “The weeks ahead will be the hardest yet but I really do believe that we’re entering the last phase of the struggle, because with ever jab that goes into our arms we are tilting odds against Covid and in favour of the British people.”

The Prime Minister also hinted heavily that the rest of the UK is to follow suit.

Industry reaction

mark hayward naeaMark Hayward (left), Chief Policy Adviser, Propertymark comments: “We welcome the news that the housing market is to remain open throughout this new lockdown period, but it is essential that all agents continue to play their part in reducing the spread of the virus through following all relevant guidance on how to safely conduct viewings.

“It is vital that agents operate in accordance with government and Propertymark guidelines to help prevent the spread of Covid-19, keep movers and buyers safe and keep the housing market moving through these uncertain times.”

james forresterJames Forrester, MD of Barrows and Forrester, says: “Many will be thankful that the government have refrained from placing the property market back into a pandemic induced cryogenic deep freeze. As one of the cornerstones of the UK economy, it’s vital that we remain open and able to service the unprecedented levels of market activity seen in recent months

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