Moving home can be a stressful experience. The list of things to think about is a long one. Packing things carefully so they don’t break, dismantling furniture and hoping you remember how it goes together again, finding a reliable removal service, etc. Home movers now have something else to add to the list: the growing global epidemic that is the rapid spread of the Covid 19 strand of Coronavirus! Below, we will consider how this highly-contagious virus may impact your move.
The UK is currently in “delay mode” with regards to its handling of the virus, meaning people are being advised to self-isolate and socially distance themselves, where possible. It is no surprise, therefore, that people are stocking up on the necessities; things like non-perishable foods such as pasta, as well as toilet paper and anti-bacterial gel are out of stock across most supermarkets. As someone planning on moving home imminently, it is highly inconvenient to make such bulk purchases only to have to then pack them up and move them. It may, however, be necessary if the virus continues to spread as aggressively as some are forecasting.
In terms of one’s risk of contracting the virus, home movers need to also consider if the place they are moving to poses more of a risk than where they currently live. Population density is a key factor in this regard because the virus is passed on by human contact. It is logical to assume, therefore, that those moving to busy cities like London need to be the most prudent.
For those planning to move internationally, Coronavirus poses far greater a headache. Travel restrictions appear to be increasing by the day. Trump has recently set a travel ban for Europeans looking to enter the United States, for example. Depending on which country you are looking to move to, it may make sense to delay your move. At the time of writing, Italy and Spain are two such countries where the level of risk of contracting Covid 19 would be high. Indeed, Italy and Spain are both currently in a state of lockdown, preventing travel inside the country, with schools, restaurants and shops all closed with the exception of pharmacies and food shops.
How long will travel restrictions last?
The extent to which the Coronavirus will spread, the impact this will have on lives and businesses, and for what period it will remain an epidemic is currently unclear. It is likely that disruption will last several months, with experts predicting the height of the crisis peaking in June. On this basis, those planning to move to a country that currently has a relatively low number of cases may wish to expedite those moving plans before things get worse.
Those moving overseas should also consider how many pairs of hands their belongings will pass through by the time they reach your new home. When unpacking boxes, it may be a wise precaution to wear disposable gloves and wash your hands regularly.
Groups at risk
We already know that certain groups of people will be more likely to become very unwell upon contracting Covid 19. The elderly (that is those over the age of 70) and those with underlying chronic health conditions need to be extra careful and it is not advisable that such people move home during the current period. Those that fall into one of these “at-risk” categories should instead stock up on supplies and self-isolate to mitigate their chances of contracting this virus that has already claimed the lives of 5,000 people globally.
Coronavirus: where do we stand now?
The number of people infected globally with the virus is continuously changing. It is also important to bear in mind that many cases in countries that are heavily affected may have gone unreported, as people feel unwell but do not want to go to the doctor in case they do not have the virus but contract it during their visit.
For an up-to-date live report click and breakdown of these figures, including recovered cases and deaths, click here
If you had been planning a move to a country that is currently imposing restrictions on movement, it is inevitable that your move will need to be delayed.
Whether you’re moving within or outside of the UK, Coronavirus may bear heavily on your move. The key choice for many will be whether to perhaps expedite or delay your move. This will largely be dependent on where you’re planning on moving to and your personal circumstances.
If you have already completed on a new home purchase and booked your move then you will naturally want to ensure you don’t contract the virus before then. We advise you to keep abreast of the latest developments and follow the advice given by the government. Indeed, the Prime Minister will be providing daily updates on the pandemic to advise on next steps.