Covid-19: Can you still move house?

April 2 2020, Matt Brownsey

It goes without saying, that COVID-19 has put a spanner in the works in many walks of life. Not least, within the moving industry. While the country is no longer in complete lockdown, the prevalence of the virus remains rife. That is why we have put together this Q&A to help you answer any queries you might have about moving house in the current climate.

Note: Circumstances change fast. We cannot guarantee that this article is constantly updated. Regularly check the Australian government’s website to get the latest Covid-19 information.

Are removalist companies operating? If yes, what safety measures are being taken?

The simple answer is yes. Removalists are considered an essential service and are able to help you move house. New rules and restrictions outlined on this article are in place, depending on the nature of your move. Therefore, if you do not have a rigid moving date and are able to postpone your move, we recommend doing so to avoid unnecessary complications. However, removalist companies are operating and it is therefore possible, in theory, to relocate.

What has changed?

In order for you and the movers to stay safe it is advised that during a move everyone should:

  • Frequently wash hands.
  • Use social distancing when possible (stay 2m apart from others).

Also, you should tell your removalist prior to your move if you have symptoms or have been in direct contact with someone positive for Covid-19. Some companies may even ask a series of questions about your possible Covid-19 exposure. As a result, companies and customers can manage the risk accordingly.

Services that can be performed remotely (i.e surveys and quotes) will be done over the phone or via webcam. This is to reduce non-essential human interaction.

Can I move within my own state?

Yes. It is possible, and relatively straightforward to move within your own state. There are no legal restrictions or guidelines for this, apart from following general COVID-19 safety protocol.

Can I move to another state?

This is where things get a little more complicated. There are no universal rules across Australia on this, rather individual states have their own decision-making powers. When moving interstate, you are subject to the same general rules on movement across state borders.

In a lot of cases, you can travel interstate, but only by air. For example, if you are moving to Queensland or New South Wales from any hotspot, you only option is to fly. Make sure you have considered what this means for your car and pet transportation. For more detailed information on the specific rules of moving interstate, check out the government website.

What about if I am going to, or coming from, Victoria?

You are still permitted to move house. This is covered under one of the exemption clauses of the Victorian Government’s Stay At Home Directions Document.

However, Victoria is the only state which has interstate entry self-isolation restrictions. In almost all cases, if moving from Victoria to any other state in Australia, you will have to complete a 14-day isolation period in government-provided accommodation. In some cases, this will be at your own expense. In other cases, for example, moving to South Australia from Victoria, you will need to undergo a compulsory COVID-19 test.

That being said, it is possible to undertake a move from Victoria, if you are prepared and have the means to quarantine and/ or get tested.

Can I move abroad?

Again, there is no black and white answer to this. Whether you can or not will be heavily determined on what your destination country is. You will be subject to the specific border rules and travel bans of your target location.

If you are planning on moving to Australia, you may also encounter some problems. Entry for those who are not permanent residents or citizens is all but barred, and even the number of citizens who are allowed to enter the country is capped every day.

We have found some links that can provide more information regarding international moves:

What next?

What is clear, is that while moving house is very much possible currently, it requires an extra step of preparation and planning. There are no blanket rules for every move, and so you must ensure you stay up to date and thoroughly research what COVID-19 means for your specific move.

Keep following the advice and guidelines of the Australian government in order to stay safe and within the rules. For the latest updates in the moving industry, be sure to follow the websites of IAM and FIDI.

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