Individuals living in Tier 3 lockdown areas can continue to move and view homes despite a tightening of restrictions, the government has said.
In updated guidance for local areas with a ‘very high’ COVID-19 alert level, the government said: “Estate and letting agents and removal firms can continue to work and people looking to move home can continue to undertake viewings.”
The guidance also said that office workers who can work effectively from home should do so over winter but added: “Anyone else who cannot work from home should go to their place of work”.
Further guidance said that for appointments in the home, such as those for repairs and maintenance workers, operatives should look to make them COVID-secure.
Steps to do so include:
- Using remote working tools to avoid in-person appointments
- Only absolutely necessary participants should physically attend appointments and should maintain social distancing.
- Avoid transmission during appointments, for example, from sharing pens, documents and other objects
- Holding meetings outdoors or in well-ventilated rooms whenever possible.
At the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the summer the majority of housing associations moved to an emergency repairs only footing to minimise the spread of the virus into tenants’ homes. Since lockdown measures were eased, many scaled back up their repairs and maintenance services and have worked through backlogs.
The government also put a freeze on the UK housing market by advising people to delay moving into new homes during the worst of the pandemic.
But on Monday the prime minister announced a new three-tier COVID-19 alert system for regions in England.
Tier three says: “People must not meet with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor or outdoor setting, whether at home or in a public space.”
Currently areas facing “very high” alert level include: Liverpool, Knowsley, Wirral, St Helens, Sefton and Halton. Areas with this rating will be reviewed every four weeks.