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Britannia Lanes – update on Coronavirus measures

Update 24 March 2020

After the announcement last night from the PM, we have cancelled all moves that have not previously started. Our priority at this time is ensuring the safety of our staff, our customers and their families. I hope everyone keeps safe.

Mark Lane
Managing Director

Memo from British Association of Removers

Propertymark (the National Association of Estate Agents) has spoken to a senior civil servant at the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) this morning. The civil servant stated that agents are not “essential businesses” under the new rules and therefore their view is that agents should close their offices immediately. Furthermore, they stated that there should not be any in-person viewings, routine inspections or house moves. MHCLG is still looking into property maintenance tasks such as gas safety checks and hopes to issue guidance on these points as soon as possible.

In a further development, British Association of Removers (BAR) has issued communications this morning instructing members that moves should only be completed if they are already underway, any move that has not yet started, should not go ahead.

Update 19 March 2020

Many of you will be aware of the fast-moving situation surrounding the Covid-19 virus both in the UK and overseas. We have been tracking developments for some time and taking direction from reliable sources such as the UK Government, Public Health England, the NHS and the Chief Medical Officer, who are now all providing regular bulletins offering advice and direction both for individuals and businesses alike.

What is absolutely clear is that we have never experienced anything like this before, which makes planning and preparing measures to deal with the challenges we’re currently presented with along with any potential escalated situation in the future fairly complicated.

One thing we can absolutely assure our customers of is that you have been at the heart of all our discussions. Your safety and wellbeing as well as that of our staff is our priority and we are in communication with our staff, local offices and customers on a regular basis to assess their levels of health so that where possible contact with anyone displaying symptoms is prevented. We ask that all customers play an active role in these endeavours. From an operational point of view, Britannia Lanes have taken measures and will continue to do so to mitigate any impact on the services we have committed to complete for you. Currently, there have been no actual or suspected cases of the coronavirus (Covid-19) at the three branches of Britannia Lanes at the time of writing this bulletin. However, we are clearly monitoring this on a day to day basis and have robust plans in place should any diagnosis materialise within our group.

Britannia Lanes have set out guidelines to our staff on how to maintain a clean office space and reduce the spread of any germs via simple suggestions handed down by Public Health England and the NHS. This includes advice for our field staff such as our surveyors and removal crews who will come into direct contact with our customers.

Below are the measures that Britannia Lanes are taking, and we would ask that where relevant our customers mirror these guidelines.

✓ Staff have been told not to come to the office if they are unwell and to self-isolate for the recommended period by the Government. Currently 14 days, but this may change, and Britannia Movers will follow any updated recommendations.
✓ Where feasible staff are being encouraged to work from home, however given the nature of the removal service we provide there are limited roles where this is possible.
✓ Office staff, field staff and removal crew have been equipped with a range of sanitary products such as hand wipes, sanitiser and hand wash. Staff are being encouraged to maintain the very highest levels of personal hygiene at all times by washing hands regularly (for at least 20 seconds with soap and water).
✓ Staff must carry tissues and use them to catch all coughs and sneezes, disposing of the tissue into a waste container. Staff must then wash hands instantly with soap and water, or use a sanitiser
✓ If a Member of our removal staff present with symptoms, they will be withdrawn from a move to safeguard their colleagues and our customers. Should this affect the scheduling of a customer’s move we will contact them immediately to discuss our options.
✓ On an ongoing basis staff are receiving briefings from management and being encouraged to keep abreast of developments. Staff have been provided with access to various web- based advice so that they are not adding to the weight of NHS 111 calls and busy GP surgeries. Posters have been placed around our offices displaying best practice, details of common symptoms and what to do in case of any concerns.

For our International customers we are keeping a close eye on restrictions within your overseas location that you are either moving from or to. Things are changing daily with European countries closing borders for all but the most necessary services. Inevitably there will be delays for some customers and potential postponements. Should any customer have any questions, please contact the branch that is handling your consignment.

Truro, Cornwall 01872 560147 Cornwall@britannialanes.co.uk
Exeter, Devon 01392 494966 Devon@britannialanes.co.uk
Bridgwater, Somerset 01278 447099 Somerset@britannialanes.co.uk
Bristol, Somerset 01179 811220 Bristol@britannialanes.co.uk

Finally, a general message to everyone not only within the UK but all around the world. As an international business Britannia Lanes wish everyone well, to stay safe, fit and healthy and to take advice from reliable expert sources wherever you are. Communities all over the world are supporting each other and if we continue to take this approach, we will get through this unprecedented event sooner rather than later.

Best wishes from all at Britannia Lanes

If you have any queries, please don't hesitate to contact us on the above details. The aim is to ensure that all government guidance is being followed and Britannia as a group are doing all we can to minimise the risk to our staff and customers.