MOVING DURING COVID-19 EPIDEMIC
During this time of unprecedented uncertainty, all of us here at Ellis Moving & Storage Ltd are concerned about the safety and well-being of our families, colleagues, customers, partners, and the many friends who make up Ellis’s family. Ellis Moving will be following the information provided from Moversearchmarketing.com Written by Bryan Bloom The coronavirus pandemic is unlike anything our generation has ever seen. Not only has the outbreak drastically affected travel and freedom of movement, it’s also affected jobs, lives, and the global economy.
Throughout the chaos and changing guidelines of the COVID-19 crisis, life must still go on and some level of normality must be maintained. That means household’s still need to move and students still need to relocate as campuses close. Some businesses are even taking advantage of orders to temporarily shut to relocate their offices or storefronts without impacting business. If you’re facing the daunting challenge of moving during the coronavirus crisis, rest easy: moving companies are still able to help you as an essential business and they are taking a range of precautions to ensure your move is easy, safe, and virus-free.
Here’s an overview of what you should know about how coronavirus is affecting relocating, what movers are doing during the crisis, and what you can do to make your move safer and easier.
Keep in mind guidelines and rules are changing rapidly.
Table of Contents
- Are Movers Still Moving During the Coronavirus Pandemic?
- Is it Safe to Move During the Coronavirus Epidemic?
- Steps Movers Are Taking During the COVID-19 Epidemic
- What You Should Do to Prepare for Your Move During the Epidemic
- How You Can Help While Moving During the Coronavirus Epidemic
- Resources for Moving During the Coronavirus Epidemic
- Preferred Movers
Are Movers Still Moving During the Coronavirus Pandemic?
Absolutely. Despite shutdowns among businesses and shelter-in-place orders in many areas, many people still need to move. In many cases, moving isn’t an option and can’t be postponed: your lease may be ending, you’re already in the middle of a move, you’re starting a new job, or you’re closing on a new home.
While some moving companies have seen a temporary reduction in moving requests, others have seen an uptick in service, depending on the area.
Moving companies are also still operating and hard at work in every area. In most areas, movers are considered an “essential service” and allowed to continue to operate provided everyone follows social distancing guidelines. No state has currently barred moving companies from shutting down, even in areas under the strictest guidelines like New York City where vehicles with commercial plates can still move freely.
When cities order closure of "non-essential businesses," they may or may not give specific examples of which types of businesses can continue to operate. As a general rule, though, non-essential businesses are those that revolve around social functions and interaction or services of convenience. So, are movers considered essential services? Even when clear guidelines are not provided, moving is generally considered essential. Moving Companies fall under the “logistics” and “transportation” categories in almost every jurisdiction.
There is one pressing issue you may have as you prepare for moving during COVID-19: some apartments are canceling move-ins, especially in hard-hit areas.
So, in the majority of situations and cities, moving is allowed, continues to happen and is an essential service.
So YES – People are still moving during this Coronavirus pandemic and moving companies are still performing moves.
Is it Safe to Move During the Coronavirus Epidemic?
Yes, moving during the COVID-19 epidemic is safe as long as you follow recommended guidelines on social distancing, hand washing, and other practices.
The American Moving & Storage Association has made recommendations for both movers and consumers to make moving during coronavirus as safe as possible.
While moving can be completely safe and essential during the pandemic, the AMSA encourages some consumers to postpone their move if possible. “Your health and the health of your family are important,” the AMSA said in its coronavirus guidelines. “If you are in a vulnerable group, over 60 or have a compromised immune system, schedule your move after the pandemic is over if it is at all possible.”
Keep in mind movers are considered low-risk for the transmission of coronavirus. Moving crews typically only help one or two customers per day and are able to maintain social distancing during the move.
Steps Movers Are Taking During the COVID-19 Epidemic
Movers are taking a number of steps to mitigate the risk of spreading coronavirus during a move, including some steps recommended by AMSA. Always ask your mover what steps they are taking to reduce the risk and don’t be afraid to ask questions!
Some measures professional moving companies are taking to manage the coronavirus risk include:
- Greeting customers with alternatives to handshakes
- Providing virtual estimates rather than in-person moving estimates
- Practicing good hygiene with frequent hand washing
- Movers using hand sanitizer during moves
- Social distancing or maintaining at least 6 feet of space from customers
Here’s a more in-depth look at some of the ways movers are keeping you safe during your relocation.
Movers don’t need to come to your home to assess your moving and storage needs. With video technology, face-to-face time can be eliminated while still ensuring you receive an accurate moving estimate.
Expanded In-House Sanitation Many moving companies are increasing sanitation and housekeeping for offices and warehouses. This includes frequent disinfecting of keypads, restrooms, countertops, and door handles. Non-essential visitors are also eliminated.
Pre-Move Wellness Checks for Customers & Movers Ahead of your move, AMSA encourages you to contact your moving company to explain if you or anyone in your home has or may have contracted coronavirus or are isolating due to exposure. Depending on the circumstances and movers, they may be able to work with you or postpone your move to mitigate the risk for team members and other customers.
Your moving company may contact you ahead of your move to ask if you feel ill or have had suspected contact with someone infected with coronavirus.
Many moving companies have also taken steps to perform wellness checks on team members. Movers and staff who feel ill or suspect they have had contact with someone who is infected are instructed not to come to work.
Physical Distancing One of the most crucial steps a moving company can take is implementing social distancing protocols. After arriving at a customer’s location, team members will maintain a 6-foot social distance and avoid touching or handshaking.
Changes to Staff Scheduling In an effort to reduce large gatherings in office settings, moving companies are reducing risk by staggering shift start times among team members. Crews are also assisted with heading out to their designated move with supplies such as hand washing supplies as quickly as possible.
What You Should Do to Prepare for Your Move During the Epidemic
Want to make moving during COVID-19 as smooth and easy as possible? There are many steps you can take to get your home ready for the movers, maintain safe distance, and mitigate the risk of coronavirus.
Moving companies and AMSA requires consumers follow the following steps.
Provide Hand Washing and Disinfection Supplies for Movers If possible, leave out hygiene products your movers can use to follow safe hand washing practices. You can leave paper towels and soap by your sink and hand sanitizer and bleach wipes by the entrance.
Use New Cardboard Boxes To be on the safe side, only use new cardboard boxes purchased at the store or boxes you already have at home. Avoid using recycled moving boxes because coronavirus lives on surfaces like cardboard for up to 24 hours.
Plan Your Travel How will you be traveling to your new home? Ahead of moving day, take care to make sure your travel plans are as safe as possible and can be adjusted if needed. If you need a hotel or flight, book refundable reservations and make sure the cancellation policy will protect you if plans change.
Practice Safe Hygiene Measures Wash your hands frequently while moving, even if you aren’t loading boxes. Avoid touching your mouth and face. While interacting with movers, you can also wear gloves and a face mask for additional protection.
Sanitize Belongings As best as you are able, keep your belongings sanitized and free of germs by sealing items in bags and boxes. Wrap your furniture in plastic that can be thrown away as soon as you are in your new home. Wear gloves when you unpack and wash your hands frequently. Try to limit outside exposure to your items in transit.
Practice Physical Distancing Your movers will be friendly but maintain a safe distance during the coronavirus epidemic. Take care to also practice social distancing by staying at least 6 feet away from the moving crew.
Be Prepared for the Movers When the moving team arrives, it’s helpful to leave open doorways and windows in your home to improve indoor ventilation. Increasing the ventilation rate is believed to reduce cross infection of airborne infectious disease by diluting or removing contaminated airborne droplets.
Moving Process Steps ‐ COVID‐19
In response to COVID‐19, Atlas Canada will endeavour to provide all the required services in order to move your household goods and effects, while also taking the appropriate precautions and following instructions as provided by all Government authorities.
Some additional steps in the move process include:
- Validating with you in advance of service that there is no one in the home or business that is exhibiting symptoms consistent with COVID‐19 or has had signs of illness in the previous 14 days, or is self‐isolating, and identify if there are high‐risk individuals
- Mandating crews to bring required sanitary products such as disinfecting wipes, disposable towels, soap, and hand sanitizer with minimum 60% alcohol
- Limiting physical contact and maintaining social distancing (six feet / two meters) including not shaking hands
- Limiting contact by providing one point of contact with the crew.
In addition, here are some measures that you can take to protect yourselves and the movers during the pre‐loading, packing, loading, delivering and unpacking your HG&E at your residence during this period:
Prior to the Mover’s arrival
- Disinfect high‐touch surfaces (e.g. doorknobs, handrails, toilets) where the movers will be working
- Open all doors so the movers do not have to touch the knobs
- Leave aside a bottle of hand sanitizer or disinfecting wipes, and ask the movers to use them, such as when they come into the house
- Provide a clean‐up area where the movers can use soap, water and disposable towels near a sink
- Designate one washroom for the movers to use and another for you and the family if more than one washroom is available
When Movers are at the house
- Do not shake hands or elbow shake with any movers
- Any documents that require a signature, you can use your own pen versus using the mover'spen
- Place documents to be handed over on a surface (counter) then let the other person pick them up
- After handling the paperwork, wash your hands
It is prudent to wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face (eyes, ears, nose and mouth).