What is the impact of COVID-19 on my upcoming move?

Were you planning on moving in the coming months? Are you wondering if your big move is still happening or if it needs to be cancelled or postponed? While the situation is evolving quickly, we gathered the information made available by the federal and provincial governments. We will update the information as we go. Click here to jump to measures taken by the federal and provincial governments around moving and relocation in the context of the COVID-19.

If you, or members of your family, have symptoms that are similar to a cold or flu (cough, fever, difficulty breathing, etc.), if you are in isolation or if you are affected by the New Order that Makes Self-Isolation Mandatory for Individuals Entering Canada, we recommend that you cancel or postpone your move. We would also recommend that you cancel or postpone your move if a member of the family living in your new home is affected.

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Is my move cancelled because of COVID-19?

Currently, Canadians can go through with their move, although many actors can directly or indirectly have an impact on their move. If you decide to go forward with your relocation, you should take into consideration the risks associated with this decision and try, as much as possible, to take measures to minimize these risks.   

What actors have an impact on my relocation?

There can be many parties that could lead to the cancellation or postponement of your move, including the following:

  1. Federal and provincial governments may:

    • Apply business lockdowns which would cause your movers, truck rental company, storage company or notary to close. Currently, these service providers are considered as offering essential services. Therefore, many continue to offer their services across Canada. Click here to learn more.

    • Restrict or forbid moving unless necessary. Currently, there has been no such indications within Canada.

  2. Service providers may have decided to close or restrict some services. For instance, it is possible that your mover closed shop to protect their employees, or that certain movers will not accept new contracts for a period of time. Contact your moving, storage and truck rental companies, as well as your notary (if applicable) to confirm their availability or to make the necessary arrangements.

  3. Your new home may not be available on time. For instance, if you have a rental agreement, the current tenant may not be able to move out in time, or at all. Given the circumstances, it is possible that the landlord cannot expel the tenant, and hence make it impossible for you to move in. Contact the landlord or the seller (in case you are buying) to confirm this information. If applicable, make the necessary arrangements.

  4. You may decide against moving yourself. If you or members of your family have symptoms that are similar to a cold or flu (cough, fever, difficulty breathing, etc.) or if you are in isolation you might decide to cancel or postpone your move. You could also decide, as a preventive measure, to cancel or postpone your move. Contact your landlord or other parties involved in order to come to an agreement.

10 Tips to Minimize the Risk of Spread while Moving

Keep in mind that if you decide to go ahead with your move, you are putting everyone involved in the move at risk, so act accordingly and do not take any shortcuts or chances. Here are some tips to follow to minimize the risk of spread.

  1. If your helpers have symptoms (cough, fever, etc.) or should be isolation, as per the government instructions, make sure they do not show up.

  2. Limit the number of people present during your move. If possible, only one member of the family should be present.

  3. Contact your mover or the rental truck company and ask about health measures they have put in place. Do not be afraid to ask for special care, and tip accordingly!

  4. Wrap your furniture and appliance when possible. Avoid moving pillows and other items loose. Try not to touch your boxes 24 hours before the move.

  5. Have soap and water or hand sanitizer available at all time for everyone to use. Remind everyone to wash their hands as often as possible.

  6. Use gloves. This does not mean you can touch your face. If you are sweaty, use your forearm.

  7. Take your time and keep your distances. It will take more time, but that’s okay.

  8. Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, truck handle, countertops, etc. Use the products recommended by Canadian government, as provided on the List of hard-surface disinfectants for use against coronavirus.

  9. Make sure you clean your new home before your arrival, as well as the home you are leaving after your departure.

  10. If possible, wait 24 hours before unpacking your boxes in your new home, there is no rush.

Federal and provincial measures in the context of the COVID-19

Canada

Currently, there is no national indication that forbids people from moving. While most if not all provinces and territories are undergoing special emergency measures, moving related businesses can still operate with precautions unless noted in the provincial specific sections below.

We still recommend that you double check with everyone involved in your move.

According to the New Order that Makes Self-Isolation Mandatory for Individuals Entering Canada, individuals returning from abroad have to self-isolate for a period of 14 days. If you are affected by this measure, we recommend that you cancel or postpone your move.

Ontario

Ontario has included moving and truck rental companies, as well as legal services in the List of essential workplaces. Hence, these service providers can remain open so far. We recommend that you double check with everyone involved in your move. In addition, the Ontario government issued an emergency order that limits gatherings of more than five people. We recommend that the group of people involved in your move, including the movers, comply with this measure.

British Columbia

Among the services included in the List of COVID-19 Essential Services, British Columbia has included notaries and real estate agent services. Movers, as well as storage and truck rental companies are not specifically mentioned in the list. Therefore, we recommend that you contact them to confirm whether they are operating or not.

Quebec

Currently, movers, truck rental and storage companies, as well as notaries are not concerned by the Minimization of non-priority services and activities in Quebec. This means that these service providers can still operate. That being said, some businesses may have decided to close or restrict their services. We recommend that you double check with everyone involved in your move.

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia has declared a state of emergency in response to the COVID-19. In this context, gatherings of more than five people are prohibited. Therefore, we recommend that the group of people involved in your move, including the movers, comply with this measure.

Last edited on April 2nd, 2020.

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