In a bid to help reduce Covid spread, the UK government issues, and updates, an ‘exception list’ of countries from which travellers arriving in the UK are exempted from the need to quarantine in self-isolation for 14 days.
Arriving from a country NOT on the list means quarantine rules must be followed.
Paul Offley, Compliance Officer at The Guild of Property Professionals, says that when agents are going through their health checklist and are asking clients, buyers and tenants their Covid-19 related questions, they will need to ask whether the person has recently returned from one of the countries not on the UK exception list.
If the person has returned from one of the countries not on the exception list, it doesn’t mean that agents cannot deal with that person, it simply means that all interaction should be virtual until after the allotted 14-day self-isolation period has lapsed.
If an estate or lettings agent has a staff member that has returned from a non-exempt conutry they should be made to work at home. “Estate and lettings agents should be aware of where their staff members are travelling to on holiday to ensure the appropriate procedures are followed on their return to ensure the safety of both other staff members in the office and, of course, the public who visit the office,” says Offley.
“Until Covid-19 is completely eradicated, estate and lettings agents need to ensure that they have the tools and procedures in place to revert back to working from home and conducting their business virtually, whether that be due to travel-related self-isolation or a possible regional lockdown.
“While the country as a whole may not be put back into lockdown, as we have already seen, the Government is prepared to implement region lockdowns in areas that see increased infection rates. They key is to be ready and have a plan in place should your business need to switch from physical appointments to virtual ones,” Offley concludes.
As of yesterday this is the list of exceptions:
People need to self-isolate if they visited or made a transit stop in a country or territory that is not on the list in the 14 days before arrival in England.
Akrotiri and Dhekelia
Antigua and Barbuda
Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba
British Antarctic Territory
British Indian Ocean Territory
Brunei (added 11 August – if you arrived in England from Brunei before 11 August, you will need to self–isolate)
the Channel Islands
the Isle of Man
Malaysia (added 11 August – if you arrived in England from Malaysia before 11 August, you will need to self–isolate)
Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
St Kitts and Nevis
St Pierre and Miquelon
St Vincent and the Grenadines
Trinidad and Tobago
Turks and Caicos Islands
Vatican City State