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House removals and face masks

(35 Posts)
Luckygirl Wed 19-Aug-20 22:24:02

One of the removal companies who has been to provide a quote said today that his men would not wear masks during the move because they caused the men great discomfort when exerting themselves to lift furniture etc. (I can understand this might be hard). He said that the owners of properties had to not be there during the move.

I cannot find any rules about this anywhere on government website.

Has anyone moved home during the pandemic? Any thoughts on this?

Thank you.

Ellianne Wed 19-Aug-20 22:43:35

Our daughter moved house today. She didn't say the removal men wore masks, I will ask. This was East London.

MawB2 Wed 19-Aug-20 22:51:57

Sounds acceptable to me (especially the not being there but that was bad for the nerves).

SueDonim Wed 19-Aug-20 23:30:18

My son moved between states in America in July. They have different rules, of course, but it all went very smoothly. They didn’t need to be close to the removal people so just kept an eye on them from a distance in case there were any issues.

It was the same at the other end, they stood back while the company did their magic.

I’m having a new bed (ordered in January!) delivered on Monday. I don’t think the men will be masked for that and they’re taking away the old bed, too.

Esspee Thu 20-Aug-20 07:47:32

I find that completely understandable. Are you especially high risk?

Esspee Thu 20-Aug-20 07:51:57

SueDonim. I understood that bed companies should never take beds away in the same van they use to deliver new ones for very obvious reasons. I would ask about that if I was you.

cornergran Thu 20-Aug-20 08:18:08

If it were me I’d want to be somewhere on the premises luckygirl, in a different room or outside while they loaded. Surely the homeowner needs to be available for unloading too.

A quick search found no Government advice, I did find this from Pickfords, not everyone’s favourite I know but it’s comprehensive, it doesn’t ban home owners rather gives advice on staying separate, their staff will wear PPE.
Perhaps the trade body would have a code of practice?

Good luck with the move, covid surely doesn’t help the ‘normal’ home moving stress.

Furret Thu 20-Aug-20 08:32:16

I’d accept a quote from another company whose workers are protected and not such wimps. .

Ellianne Thu 20-Aug-20 09:24:22

In answer to your question Luckygirl, no the removal men did not wear masks.

I wouldn't leave the men home alone for many reasons.

Illte Thu 20-Aug-20 09:41:19

I put Covid house removals into Google and the Government site came up first, with all the info.

It's in the same section as selling and buying so you have to scroll down to the end of the process., which is logical.

There's additional info for removal firms under Working Safely advice.

I'd expect your removal firm to be giving you a copy of all this, but it is there. I don't know how to do a link. Sorry. ?

SueDonim Thu 20-Aug-20 10:15:11

Oh, thanks for that, Esspee! Will check it out.

Luckygirl Thu 20-Aug-20 11:39:22

I found Illte that on the government website but could not find specific advice about masks. I will look again.

Luckygirl Thu 20-Aug-20 11:43:14

Looked again and still can't find it - lots of stuff about distancing and hand washing, but not about masks.

Riverwalk Thu 20-Aug-20 12:23:03

Lucky no recent experience of moving but my thoughts:

I wouldn't expect the removal men to wear masks - it's a hard physical job and it's not easy to breathe in the average workaday mask. If you intend to be around you could be from a distance and wearing a mask.

I've been travelling on London transport quite a bit in the past few weeks and I can tell you that a 20-minute Tube ride is about as much as I can manage.

What is it you're particularly concerned about?

Luckygirl Thu 20-Aug-20 12:28:21

I am not especially concerned - although I would prefer not to get ill! - but we are supposed to be wearing masks with non-householders in our home, so I wondered what the rules are for house moving and masks.

I do recognise that they are uncomfortable to wear when doing a hard physical job.

The issue about masks in this situation is of course that they stop the workers from scattering virus droplets about the whole house and them settling on surfaces.

FarNorth Thu 20-Aug-20 12:32:23

What about other removers who have quoted for you Luckygirl?
Have they mentioned masks?

You could open all the windows and give the new house a thorough airing, while they are working and after they've left.

I'd be a bit concerned about being told not to be there at all, tho.

dizzyblonde Thu 20-Aug-20 13:54:37

Masks are really difficult to wear when doing hard physical work. If they wear fabric or surgical masks they would have to change them every 15 minutes or so as they will get damp and therefore ineffective.

Luckygirl Thu 20-Aug-20 14:10:45

I have just had a sensible quote from a company who do use PPE throughout the move. I think I will go with them.

monk08 Thu 20-Aug-20 14:30:56

Friend moved at weekend removers all wore masks took them off in the van when they left. Friend and daughter both wore masks and were in the house the whole time.

Ellianne Thu 20-Aug-20 16:53:43

Moving entails a lot of coming and goings. Today, day one after the move, it was the TV aerial chaps with their ladders on the roof and crawling round the loft (no masks), and the carpet fitters (no masks). Tomorrow it is the washing machine installer. Endless delivery men, even gift boxes of flowers deliveries (no masks).
What I'm saying is that it doesn't stop after the removals with people trudging round the house.

Luckygirl Thu 20-Aug-20 18:02:40

I am sure you are right!

Illte Thu 20-Aug-20 20:46:05

Gosh I never thought if them coughing and spreading over the furniture!

Glad you've found a company that does wear masks ?

Luckygirl Thu 20-Aug-20 22:57:49

Illte - that is the principle behind so many of the rules that have been made around the virus. It floats as droplets in the air when someone who is infected (even if unknowingly) breathes out. Those droplets land on every surface: light switches, computer mice, door handles, table tops, computer keyboards, food on supermarket shelves - just everything. That is why we are told to wear masks - not to protect ourselves, but to stop the wearer breathing out the droplets and directly infecting another, and also these droplets landing on places that others will touch. If they then touch their mouth, nose, eyes the virus can get into the body and infect the person.

Someone does not have to cough to create droplets. All they have to do is breathe! Coughing just spreads the virus further.

It is also the principle behind handwashing, so that if someone touches a surface with droplets on they can wash the virus from their hands.

Sorry to sound a bit basic - but I was surprised that you were not aware that the droplets land on furniture - on everything really!

Illte Thu 20-Aug-20 23:43:34

I am the Queen of soap, I've even soaped the tomatoes but I just hadn't thought of it in regard to your predicament. How dumb is that?

I was just thinking of not getting too close!

The more I think about it the sillier I feel?

Ellianne Fri 21-Aug-20 07:05:22

Moving house creates a whole scenario of covid "what ifs."
What if the estate agent has it
What if the solicitor has it
What if the removal men have it
What if the van they use has it from the previous day's furniture job
What if the home you move into has it from the outgoing sellers or from their removal men
The buyer comes into contact with all these situations, it is a calculated risk, masks or no masks, but maybe one that just has to be taken.