Continued vigilance in the face of fast-changing travel restrictions and mandatory quarantine periods will be necessary from agencies in the coming months in order to protect their staff and customers alike and help to prevent a second wave of Covid-19 in the UK.
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office is still advising British nationals against all but essential international travel, with the exception of destinations that “no longer pose an unacceptably high risk for British travellers”. However, this list of exemptions is not set in stone, as demonstrated by the reintroduction of mandatory quarantine periods for travellers coming back to the UK from several European countries. The FCO notes that “no travel is risk free and disruption is still possible”, with all of their advice under constant review to take into account the latest situation in each country or territory on the exemptions list. There is separate travel advice for those in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
What do these travel restrictions mean for you and your customers?
In the office, it means keeping up to date with all of your staff’s travel plans and ensuring that any staff returning from a non-exempt country or territory do not come into the office until they have self-isolated for 14 days. This is because it can take up to 14 days for coronavirus symptoms to appear. Those who are self-isolating cannot go into the office or visit public areas, however, they can still work from home. If they are living with someone who has returned from a non-exempt destination, they are not required to self-isolate, unless the member of their household develops symptoms of coronavirus. There is separate advice for those who are self-isolating in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
You should also ask your customers and contractors whether they have returned from a non-exempt country in the past two weeks before meeting with them in person. If they have, all appointments, including viewings, should be conducted remotely. If this isn’t possible, you will need to reschedule your appointment for when their self-isolation period has ended.
This article is intended as a guide only. For the latest advice and information on Covid-19, refer to gov.uk.