Face coverings in estate agency branches – not compulsory

New rules on face coverings were published yesterday.

The government says:

  • Face coverings will be mandatory in additional enclosed public spaces from Friday 24 July – including shops, supermarkets, shopping centres and transport hubs
  • New measure an important step in lifting lockdown, as the public are encouraged to play their part
  • Venues such as restaurants, pubs and gyms will be exempt

Under the new regulations laid today, members of the public will need to wear face coverings – for example, a fabric covering, scarf or bandana – that covers the nose and mouth in additional enclosed public spaces, as well as frequent hand washing and careful social distancing.

It will be compulsory to wear a face covering when buying food and drink to take away from cafes and shops. If you are in a premises where you are able to sit down and consume food or drink that you have bought, then you can remove your face covering in order to eat and drink on-site.

Face coverings will not be mandatory for:

  • anyone under the age of 11
  • those with disabilities or certain health conditions, such as respiratory or cognitive impairments that make it difficult for them to wear a face covering

There is evidence to suggest that, when used correctly, face coverings may reduce the likelihood of someone with the infection passing it on to others, particularly if they are asymptomatic.

The government is telling the public to play their part and wear face coverings in order to help fight the spread of the virus, enabling further easing of national restrictions. The responsibility for wearing a face covering sits with individuals. Businesses are encouraged to take reasonable steps to encourage customers to follow the law, including through signs and providing other information in store.

Yesterday evening Propertymark issued guidance, saying:

“In line with Propertymark best practice guidance, estate and lettings agents should only be welcoming visitors on an appointment basis and when all other methods of communication have been exhausted.

“It is not necessary for agency staff to wear a face covering while sharing an office with the same group of people and social distancing.

“However, when dealing with any type of visitor, any member of staff in proximity should wear a face covering.

“Visitors to the office should also be asked in advance to wear a face covering.”

Whilst it may arguably be good sense to use face coverings, on government advice it appears there is still no legal compulsion on estate agents to insist on their use in-branch.

Will face coverings be compulsory in estate agency offices?


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  1. surrey1

    Stable door. Horse. Bolted.

  2. AgencyInsider

    Yet another example of this deplorable, incompetent government acting too late. Never thought I’d wish Thatcher was in power again but she and her cabinet would have acted quickly and decisively and with clarity of purpose.

    1. David Clark

      Only thing I’d say is think what it would be like if we had the Corbynistas in control. I really don’t believe it would be better. Why don’t they do as we did the last time we had Coronavirus … Oh yeah, last time we had something similar was 1918.

      1. AgencyInsider

        Corbyn would have still been umming and erring about the vague possibility of maybe holding an enquiry into whether Coronavirus is really such a bad virus and whether there is any real need to make a meagre effort at rooting it out of the Labour party. Meanwhile, we all died.

      2. Not Surprised

        Nothing like a bit of whataboutery David!

  3. Eric Walker

    It’s all a bit of a mess. Pop in to a shop for two minutes and a mask is compulsory – quite right too. But work in the shop all day and no mask is necessary….. 

  4. anon-mon73

    Sign going on my office door today

    This is an office and a shop as such you do not require to wear a mask. If you insist on wearing a mask we can not facilitate a rental or sale as we need to verify your ID under anti-money laundering regulations

  5. SoldPal90

    Our demographic exposes us to tenants who are familiar with substance abuse and alcohol abuse.

    On occasions the police are called.

    Identifying them on CCTV with a mask on is going to be a bit of a pain.


  6. Eyereaderturnedposter12

    “Personal responsibility”…does anyone recollect this idea? This to me is a fundamental cornerstone of our way of life.

    We provide masks, gloves and hand sanitizer for clients and staff…I will however NOT be demanding/requiring anyone to wear these (staff or the general public).

    COVID-19 (in specific respect of the narrative we have been fed) receives VERY limited media space currently (unless it is politically expedient to publicise once again)…I am utterly bemused at how many (supposedly intelligent/analytical thinkers) are fully buying into this continuing (and almost nonexistent) fallaciously based fear mongering tale of horror, when reported figures are running at such a low ebb (you’re statistically more likely to die from a snake bite, currently) has the Government introduced this ludicrous requirement.

    I woke up this morning to my usual Bixby alarm…and heard the following:

    “Good morning. The temperature today will be 24 degrees centigrade and masks are now a mandatory requirement in all retail settings.”

    The world in which we live is feeling thoroughly dystopian…





  7. GPL

    We’ve been wearing them in Scotland for a few weeks.


    I’m not the worlds best “conformist” …….however, it’s fine. I sometimes forget going into a shop or business ….and go back to car, or remember to have a mask in my pocket.


    Visiting clients at home, I explain I will sanitise my hands at front door where they can see me then ask if they want me to wear mask/gloves ……so far, common sense applies.


    If one gets past all the anti-mask arguments, and one simply “plays ball” ……it’s fine.

    Let’s see how the “spread” figures work out. Best get used to this now …..if “Covid Part 2 – The Sequel” arrives in Autumn/Winter, then hopefully we will all have a better/actual idea works.


    One appointment I had yesterday ……the homeowner met me outside wearing PPE so I went full mask/gloves etc…… then into property, chatting with owner about her work – and she said “I work in the Covid Research Lab in ……” ……I laughed and said “Do you mind if I pop outside and speak to you from the pavement!” ……..we both had a laugh, however, when I heard the precautions they take …..I thought I should just do valuations from the boot of my car!


    What next? Happy Covid Cards sitting next to Birthday, Marriage, Valentines etc 🙂




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