Agents are being advised to wear face masks at work - even if no member of the public is present.
Paul Offley, compliance officer at The Guild of Property Professionals, says the precautionary measures announced by the government are a stark reminder that the pandemic is ongoing.
He says it is “essential” everyone continues to carry out their business within a COVID-secure manner to reduce the spread of the new variant.
“In the guidance issued by the Cabinet Office, the list of ‘shops’ is quite extensive and includes Estate and Lettings Agents, as well as Auction Houses. There is no clear guidance with regard to whether agents would need to wear a mask at all times or just when a member of the public is in the office, however, it would appear that it would be at all times unless the agent has screens up or has a locked door policy.”
“Previous guidance states ‘it is recommended face coverings are worn when in an indoor setting with people you are not usually with’" says Offley.
He adds that Covid-secure policies have kept the property sector and people moving over the past 18 months.
“With the new variant and the rate of infections increasing, it is vital that agents continue to act within a safe manner to ensure that they are protecting the public and doing what they can to minimise the spread of the virus” he says.
“With some potentially challenging months ahead, agents should look to review their Covid-19 operating plan and continue to review working practices to take all reasonable steps to help restrict the spread of the virus” adds Offley.