Using a Removal Firm During Covid-19

After living in lockdown for months, it’s only natural that many will have shied away from making big house moves in the current climate. But now that things are slowly getting back to normal, you might be wondering about the requirements for moving home.

To help ease some of that apprehension you may have around a house move, we’ve collated the latest information, including Government advice, on safe ways to execute the removal process of moving home.

Are removal firms in operation during Covid-19?

Renters in England can now move house more freely than during lockdown according to the new Government guidelines set in place. However there have also been a few points for movers to factor in before they come in contact with removal companies.

  • It is advised that you contact your removal company as far in advance as you can so that you have time to prepare for the move and the company can prepare to safely assist you.
  • Companies are experiencing very high demand because of a backlog of moves that were postponed during the past couple months.
  • Complete as much packing as possible to avoid the removal company having to come in contact with your items.
  • Clean all surfaces in your home including door knobs to minimise any contact with the movers.
  • Adhere to all social distancing rules in the house during the move.
  • Ensure that no person from the removals company has shown any symptoms of Covid-19 in the weeks prior to removal day.

removal van full of brown cardboard boxes

What is the guidance for the elderly or people at high risk of contracting Covid-19?

We strongly suggest that you reconsider the need to move house with the personal risks presented by Covid-19 if you’re considered vulnerable. You may also wish to seek medical advice before considering to move in the current climate. If you are showing any symptoms, then you shouldn’t leave your home and should self-isolate.

What should I look out for when hiring removal firms during Covid-19?

There are some necessary checks that you should undertake in advance of hiring a removals firm in order to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19. These include:

  • Checking the risk assessment that should have been completed by the removals company to confirm they have cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures in line with guidance and that they are taking measures to manage transmission risk in the workplace.
  • Knowing whether anyone in the removal firm has been in contact with someone with Covid-19 in the past two weeks
  • If anyone from the firm has shown symptoms of the virus in the last two weeks?
  • If the removals team will be practicing social distancing measures when removing furniture in your home
  • Knowing what personal protective equipment (PPE) the team plans on wearing during the process
  • Whether there is anything that you will need to do to help with the process eg. wear a facemask, clean surfaces.
  • What training the team has to combat Covid-19 in the work environment and how are they actively doing this when working?

Is it compulsory for removal workers to wear masks?

The government has advised that the most successful ways of combating the virus in the workplace is to work from home and stay two-metres away from each other in the workplace if possible. Additional use of PPE is not beneficial as Covid-19 is a different type of risk to the one you typically face in a workplace, and needs to be managed through social distancing and hygiene rather than through the use of PPE.

Unless you are in a situation where the risk of contracting Covid-19 is high, your risk assessment should reflect the fact that the role of PPE in providing additional protection is extremely limited. However, if you would feel more comfortable if the removal employees wore masks then you should notify the company conducting the removals.

white removal van parked on a road with furniture inside

How are removal firms keeping clients and employees safe?

Removal companies are doing the following to ensure that clients and employees are safe:

  • Removal people have zero contact with clients and observe the social distancing guidelines and keep two-metres from others at all times.
  • Wash and sanitise their hands before arriving at the property and when they leave.
  • Regularly wipe down frequently touched surfaces during the visit.
  • Communicate with a household prior to the visit to assess how they can minimise risk – this can include providing a COVID-19 risk assessment.

What are the best practices to stay healthy while moving?

Moving day can be a stressful time for everyone involved, but there are some things you can do to reduce the risk of coming in contact with the virus on moving day.

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and often with soap and water throughout the moving period as you will be touching the same surfaces as workers. Gloves can always be worn during this process if it makes you feel more comfortable.
  • Practice social distancing wherever possible in the house.
  • Minimise all movements on the day to make sure that you have pre-packed as much as you can. This means that the team will have to come into contact with fewer surfaces as they move your items
  • Ensure the removals company you are using operates safely and understands what methods they have in place in order to stay healthy. It’s always worth asking if any of them have had symptoms in the past two weeks prior to your move
  • Delay your move if you are feeling ill or showing signs of virus symptoms

It’s important to consider all parties’ health and safety conduct prior to a house move to ensure the safety of everyone involved is not affected by your house move.

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