Lots of you have asked lots of questions about who can and cannot travel during this crisis and what counts as essential. The basic advice is travel is only essential if to go to work, to care for a vulnerable person or to buy essential basic provisions.
But some of you have already arranged to move home and for some of you it will be really difficult to change plans now. The government has now issued guidance on this.
You’ll need to read this carefully to see how you stand.
The key instruction is as follows:
“Where the property being moved into is vacant, then you can continue with this transaction although you should follow the guidance in this document on home removals. Where the property is currently occupied, we encourage all parties to do all they can to amicably agree alternative dates to move, for a time when it is likely that stay-at-home measures against coronavirus (COVID-19) will no longer be in place.
For most people, even those schedule to move in the next few days, the advice is NOT to move. The guidance gives advice about how to do that. If you move, you may find that the police ask you why you are travelling and you will need to show that it is essential. Moving house in and of itself does not count as essential travel, except in certain circumstances.”
For some people, therefore, the need to move is permitted. If the home you are moving into is currently vacant and/or you are under contractual obligations this probably applies to you There is guidance on how to do this safely. You will need to consider how the rules on social distancing apply – for example if you are planning on using a removal service.
In Bristol the council has just announced the recycling centres have now closed with immediate effect and that means you will have to think again if you were planning on getting rid of some possessions.
Most people will need to pause their arrangements and to negotiate with the other people involved – new landlord, or the owner of the house if you are buying the house and/or your current landlord.
This is for your safety and for the safety of other people.