Covid-19 is a global pandemic, and that means no matter where you are moving to or from there is a risk that your move will be impacted. Moving overseas is stressful at the best of times and the added risks of safety and delays can make it feel even more challenging.
Here are some important questions we recommend you ask your International Moving company when planning your overseas move to make sure you're comfortable they are doing everything possible to minimise these risks.
1) Is there an alternative to an in-home pre-move survey?
If you don't want anyone unnecessarily visiting your home at the moment then a Move Consultant visiting to do your pre-move survey ahead of your quote may feel uncomfortable, especially if anyone in your home is vulnerable.
A pre-move survey will still need to be done, but many International Removal Companies can do this remotely. Options like video pre-move surveys using your smartphone/tablet, a phone consultation or an online inventory form are all ways for them to get the information they need to accurately quote without visiting you at home.
2) What is your international removal comany doing about covid-19 safety?
In the UK the government has provided businesses with guidelines to ensure they are 'Covid-19 secure'. ALL businesses that are operating should have reviewed these guidelines, conducted risk assessments and adapted their normal working processes to ensure they meet them and minimise the risk of anyone transmitting the virus. For example at Bournes we've established the 'safe mover code' - a new set of operating guidelines that we will follow to protect our customers, employees and communities, including social distancing, PPE and hygiene practices.
Make sure to ask your International Removal Company what they are doing about safety right now, try to find out about areas of concern such as:
- How are they making sure their crews maintain social distancing?
- Are they using any PPE for tasks where 2m+ is not feasible? (for example lifting heavy items)
- Are they monitoring the health of their crews to make sure no one who has symptoms is sent to your home?
- How often and to what extent are they sanitising the vehicles and equipment they might use?
- Are crews trained in good hygiene when it comes to hand washing or coughing/sneezing?
If there is anything else you are concerned about, don't be afraid to ask.
3) What will you need to do to help with safety before / during my move?
You might be required to do some things yourself before or during the move to help make sure the move can be done safely, for example:
- Do you need to provide hand-washing facilities?
- Should you minimise the amount of people that are on site during the move, and where should you be on move day to minimise risk of contact?
- Do you need to do anything specific to protect vulnerable people in your home?
- Will you need to have a face-covering available?
- What do you need to do if anyone in your home has symptoms of Covid-19 before the move?
Ask what your responsibilities will be, make sure you understand them and are comfortable you can achieve them. If you can't, make sure to raise it so your mover can put in place alternative plans.
4) Are there currently any issues that might cause delays?
The situation is different in every country right now, and it's changing all the time. This makes researching and predicting what might happen tricky. Make sure to ask your mover about the current situation (for example can international removal companies currently operate under local laws at destination? is there any extra paperwork you'll need to complete?), but also about how you will be kept informed if anything changes during the course of your move (e.g. if lockdown measures are increased).
5) What other risks might impact your move?
Ask your international removal company if they are experiencing any other issues with international moves that you should look out for. They might not always happen but they should ALWAYS be highlighting anything that might be an additional cost or delay anyway, but this is especially important at this time. For example:
- Are there any additional costs I might incur?
- What happens if there are delays at the port due to Coronavirus?
- Do I need to be available in person for my shipment to clear customs? (and then check you are timing your arrival correctly based on any quarantine requirements for travelers into your destination).
- What storage options are there if there are any delays on your part?
They might not know all the potential details, but they should be able to re-assure you that they have a good grasp on the areas to be aware of and will handle anything that comes up professionally with minimal additional stress for you.
So there we have it, 5 big topics that are important to make sure you're comfortable with. Every international removal company will have their own plans and processes in place, and likely these all vary slightly, but it's important you ask and trust that the risks are minimised to ensure a safe move for you and your family.
Bonus tip: Due to the number of moves being delayed during the UK's initial lockdown there is a lot of pent up demand and people who want to move right now. It's a good idea to start planning your move and selecting your mover early to avoid disappointment, you can always finalise dates later on.
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