Propertymark has published updated guidance for its member agents on what constitutes Covid best practice ahead of ‘freedom day’ on July 19th including advice on the ‘tricky subject’ of face masks.
The industry trade organisation has worked with industry stakeholders to update its guidance and is now available in full on its website.
But the most significant changes for estate agencies is the list of tasks that will no longer have to be completed remotely, and the guidance that staff will no longer have to work from home and plans can be hatched for them to return to their offices.
Propertymark also says that while no social distancing is required between staff under the government’s Stage 4 rules, Propertymark says: “businesses should consider the risks. If anyone develops COVID-19 symptoms, they should self-isolate immediately and get a PCR test, even if the symptoms are mild.”
The guidance also says that: “Masks will not be legally required but they are advisory for agents and clients, almost a year to the day since the rules were first announced.
“It is important that agents are sensitive to vulnerabilities and anxieties that clients and staff alike may have.”
This aligns with the Prime Minister’s comment that the government: “Expects and recommends that people wear a mask in crowded and enclosed spaces where you come into contact with those you don’t normally meet.”
The updated guidance also states that “no viewing should take place if any person in a property is showing symptoms of Coronavirus or self-isolating”.
Paul Offley (pictured), Compliance Officer at The Guild of Property Professionals, says that over the past 18 months the property industry has been remarkable at adapting to new working practices and processes, ensuring that both property professionals and the clients they serve are kept safe and well. The 19th of July will once again bring about change and the need to adapt to another way of working, on that resembles a pre-pandemic world, but perhaps not entirely.
“So many lives have been impacted by the pandemic and masses of people have experienced loss or suffering as a result of this awful virus. While we are all looking forward to a return to some normality, it is also important that we do not un-do the good work achieved but learn to live with Covid in our day to day lives,” says Offley.