Following the UK Government announcement yesterday, 23 December, certain areas throughout the UK will enter tier 4 from Boxing Day.
People living in a tier 4 area must not leave or be outside of their home except for where they have a specific purpose, or a ‘reasonable excuse'.
Moving home and associated activities within the housing sector are deemed as a 'reasonable excuse', therefore, estate and letting agents and removal firms can continue to work. Property viewings are still allowed to take place as long the COVID-19 safety guidance is followed, which includes social distancing and wearing a face covering. To help contain the virus, everyone who can work effectively from home should do so.
Whilst people are still permitted to move home, those outside an individual bubble should not help with moving property unless absolutely necessary, according to the guidance.
It is vital though that agents continue to strictly follow all safety guidelines for the market to remain open. It is advisable to postpone non-essential inspections or viewings of properties or, if possible, delay a home move at this time.
Everyone must still adhere to the hygiene measures in the existing Government guidance on moving home and Propertymark's best practice and guidance on house viewings, moves, and maintenance.
From Boxing Day, tier 4 rules will apply to Sussex, Oxfordshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Hampshire, with the exception of the New Forest, and the parts of Essex and Surrey not already in the toughest restrictions.
Areas currently placed under tier 4 restrictions are all 32 boroughs of London and the City of London, most of Surrey plus Kent and Medway, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Hastings and Rother, Hertfordshire and parts of Hampshire, Essex, Bedfordshire plus Peterborough.
This guidance (unless amended to reflect further changes) applies to other areas entered into tier 4 in the future.