Does COVID affect international removals?

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COVID-19 is a global pandemic, and that means that no matter where you move to, there is a risk that it will affect your removal. Moving abroad is sometimes stressful, and the additional risk of safety and delays can make it even more challenging.

International removals in times of coronavirus

These are some vital questions that you should read before your removal.

1) Is there an alternative to a survey (interview) carried out at home before removal?

If you do not want anyone to visit your home unnecessarily, it is possible to carry it out remotely in the initial phase.

Options such as video surveys before the removal via smartphone or tablet, telephone consultations or an online inventory form are ways to get the information you need for an accurate valuation without the need to visit you at home.

2) What can a removal company do regarding protection against COVID-19?

In the UK, the Government has provided companies with guidelines to ensure protection against Covid-19. All operating companies should be familiar with these guidelines, carry out a risk assessment and adjust their regular work processes to ensure that they are met and minimise the risk of anyone transmitting the virus.

Remember that you can ask your international removal company and find out exactly what they do in terms of security. What can you ask, for example?

  • How do they make sure that their crews keep a social distance?
  • Do they monitor the health of their staff to make sure that no one with symptoms is sent to your home?
  • How often and to what extent do they disinfect the vehicles and equipment that they can use?
  • Are crews instructed on hygiene when washing hands or coughing?

3) What will you have to do to stay safe before or during your removal?

You may have to do some work yourself before or during removal to make sure that it can be done safely. Determine, for example:

  • Do you need to provide handwashing devices?
  • Should you minimise the number of people who are present during removal and where should you be to reduce the risk of contact?
  • Do you need to do something specific to protect people inside your home?
  • Will you need a face cover?
  • What do you need to do if someone in your house has symptoms of Covid-19 before moving?

Ask what will be your responsibilities and make sure you understand and can do them. If you cannot, remember to say it in advance to introduce alternative procedures.

4) Are there currently any problems that could cause delays?

The situation is different in each country and is constantly changing. This makes it difficult to investigate and predict what might happen. Remember to ask the removal company about the current situation (for example, do multinational removal companies currently operate according to local regulations at the destination? Are there any additional documents you need to fill out?), but also how you will be informed if there will be any changes during the move (e.g. if the security measures increase).

5) What other risks may affect your removal?

Ask the removal company if there are other problems that you should be aware of. They may not always happen, but you should always take them into account, for example:

  • Are there any additional costs I can bear?
  • What happens if there are delays in the port due to the coronavirus?
  • Do I have to be personally available so that my shipment can pass through customs clearance? (and then check if the arrival time is correct according to the requirements of quarantine for travellers to their final destination).
  • What are the storage options if there are any delays on your part?

Removals in times of pandemic – summary

Each multinational removal company will have their plans and processes, which are likely to vary slightly, but you must ask questions and trust that the risks are limited enough to ensure a safe removal for you and your family. It is a good idea to start planning the removal early.