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Moving house is already known to be an incredibly stressful period in an individual's life, with the need to organise the process and the follow through with your moving plan.
The stress, however, can pile on due to outside factors, whether it be due to rainy days or cancellations from removalists, these outside factors can range from minuscule to gargantuan.
An outside factor that has become all too prevalent is the COVID-19 pandemic and, ultimately, the issue of states in Australia going into lockdown. Lockdown ceases the activity of most business areas of the state, but what does that mean for real estate? Here, we'll discuss the ins and outs of moving house during the lockdown.
Can I Move in a Lockdown?
Currently, you can move during a stage 4 lockdown, as removalists are considered an "essential service" to assist those moving during a lockdown.
Although, the Australian government has advised homebuyers and renters that if they can delay moving house during lockdown then please do so. Otherwise, if the move is unavoidable, like having already sold your house, then you must lean and rely on reputable removalist companies.
This also applies to interstate moves, as you're able to move interstate and removalist trucks can cross state borders if everyone displays no symptoms and registers a stable body temperature.
However, moving interstate will require a mandatory 2-week quarantine upon entering your new home state, so be sure to take the two-week delay into account when hiring movers.
While moving is permitted, certain precautions should still be taken to prevent any outbreak amongst those who are assisting during the move.
The obligatory usage of hand sanitiser should still be always implemented, as well as maintaining a 1.5m distance when possible. Masks should also still be worn during the process, as coronavirus could be spread while some heavy lifting is done.
The process of packing items should also be considered, as a study published by The England Journal of Medicine found that coronavirus can remain on cardboard for up to 24 hours. In this case, remove items from cardboard boxes as quickly as possible and avoid contacting your face while unpacking.
While you can still pack your own boxes, it is advised to let removalists handle the move of your items. Packaging your own boxes also minimises the number of contact the removalists has with your items, adding an extra layer of precaution.
The best way to minimise close contact between yourself and removalists is by placing your boxes in the one room where the removalists can come in and out of while you maintain social distancing during the move.
If you're in need of a removalist or even need a hand for end-of-lease cleaning, check out our friends at Whizz for all your cleaning and moving needs here.
State Moving Restrictions
As mentioned earlier, you can move house across Australia, but due to the different stances and case numbers across the states and territories, each area has its own border restrictions.
For example, Melbourne and Victoria as a whole issue Red Zone Permits, meaning if you are moving from a red zone or exposure site you will need to acquire an exemption to enter the state.
Sydney and NSW, at the current time of writing, have the most active cases in Australia and thus have different restrictions. This will include the official place of residence information needed, removalist job restrictions to only their local government area, and exclusions from Greater Sydney areas.
Not all areas require the 14-day isolation either, as Brisbane and Queensland are more relaxed than the former cities and states. However, this is dependent on whether you have been in restricted locations or not.
For a more comprehensive understanding of each state's border restrictions, hotspots, covidsafe areas, and current restrictions as a whole (information on South Australia, Western Australia, Northern Territory, Tasmania), Muval has put together a great list that is updated regularly here.
Preparing For The Move
While it does seem like the moving part of the process is left in the hands of removal companies, there's still plenty to do for the move.
It may seem redundant to suggest, but ultimately your goal is to ensure you monitor your symptoms and practice social distancing to ensure the moving process continues with no issue. It's also not a bad idea to spend some time sanitising high-touch areas in the home, which can include keys, doorknobs, handles, and more.
Circumstances may be different but moving to a new home is still the main factor here, meaning there are tried and true methods to make your move the best it can be. Preparing a moving checklist is an easy way to put your mind at ease, which you can find our own version of a checklist here.
Ensure that you are fully prepared for the move but also that your mental health is not taking a hit while you're trying to protect your physical health during the lockdown. Check out our article all about handling the stress and anxiety of moving here.
For any other questions about moving home as a whole, we've put together the ultimate guide to moving house, which you can check out here.
If you need help getting your utilities connected sorted, please call MyConnect on 1300 854 478 or use the Get Connected form here! If you're unsure about using a utility connection company, hopefully, this post here can assist you.