Can I Move During the COVID-19 Outbreak?

Kurt Manwaring
Researcher & Writer
Read More
Published on September 13, 2021
7 min read

Are you wondering if you can move during the COVID-19 pandemic? Move.org helps you understand how the coronavirus outbreak affects moving.

FAQ about moving during COVID-19

Bullhorn
Ask the experts

While the Move.org team is keeping an eye on how COVID-19 affects moving, we are not health experts or a source of news on the pandemic. Please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s or World Health Organization’s websites for up-to-date information.


Sign up for our moving guide!

Get emails with discounts, tips, and checklists—to guide you through every step of your move.


What is COVID-19?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person.” The virus manifests in common symptoms such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath and can be fatal.1

There are more than 224 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide as of this writing,2 and the CDC reports more than 656,000 US deaths.3 Accordingly, local, state, and federal governments have implemented various safety measures to restrict the gathering of individuals, and these measures can affect your ability to move.


What is social distancing, and how could it impact my move?

Social distancing refers to keeping your distance from everyone—not just those with symptoms—to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

It will be important to social distance even after a COVID-19 vaccine is available according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. “I think abandoning it completely would not be a good idea,” said Fauci in a State of the Union interview in November 2020.4

In particular, CDC guidelines recommend that individuals maintain a distance of six feet from other individuals—or about the same distance in which COVID-19 spreads from person to person.5

Info Box
How else can I protect myself from Covid-19?

In addition to social distancing, the CDC recommends you (1) clean your hands often, (2) avoid touching your face, (3) sneeze or cough into a tissue, and (4) disinfect frequently used items.6


Can I move to a new state during COVID-19?

You can probably move to a new state during COVID-19, but we recommend you check with your moving service and local government offices to see if your move has been affected by orders restricting travel and gatherings.

Be sure to check with the state you are moving to, the state you are moving from, and any state you plan to travel through on your way.7


Can I be evicted during the coronavirus pandemic?

Yes, you can be evicted during the coronavirus pandemic. While Congress instituted an eviction moratorium (or eviction ban), the most recent version was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Landlords can now evict tenants for unpaid rent or mortgage payments.

The best way to prevent eviction is to communicate with your landlord or mortgage company. The federal government also has billions of dollars in rental assistance funding that may help you stay in your home. Additionally, you can go to 211.org to find nonprofit assistance such as subsidized housing and utility support.

If worst comes to worst, there are steps you can take when being evicted. Common options include moving in with friends, going to extended-stay motels, or applying for homeless shelter waiting lists.


Should I move during COVID-19?

While you may be allowed to move during COVID-19, that doesn’t mean it’s always in your best interest—or in the best interest of others.

The CDC recommends you consider seven things before traveling within the US:

  1. Are you, someone in your household, or someone you will be visiting at increased risk for getting very sick from COVID-19?
  2. Are cases high or increasing in your community or your destination?
  3. Are hospitals in your community or destination overwhelmed with patients who have COVID-19?
  4. Does your home or destination have requirements or restrictions for travelers?
  5. During the 14 days before your travel, have you or those you are visiting had close contact with people they don’t live with?
  6. Do your plan include traveling by bus, train, or air which might make staying six feet apart difficult?
  7. Are you traveling with people who don’t live with you?

The CDC recommends making alternative plans or postponing travel if the answers to any of these questions is “yes.”

Info Box
Check out the CDC's travel planner

You can get info on travel restrictions, public health information, and resources for locations throughout the US. Just enter your zip code(s) here.


Will gloves help if I move during COVID-19?

Gloves can help if you’re cleaning your new or old home during COVID-19, but they aren’t necessary for things like lifting, loading, and packing. The CDC recommends gloves mainly for cleaning and disinfecting your home (including your doorknobs), or taking care of someone who is sick.8 For other situations, the CDC says the best way to stay safe is to take everyday preventive actions:

  • Wash your hands often
  • Avoid close contact
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a face covering when around others
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Clean and disinfect
  • Monitor your health daily.9

What is the best way to disinfect my personal belongings?

The CDC recommends safety precautions such as cleaning frequently used items and surfaces as often as possible. It recommends using “household cleaners and EPA-registered disinfectants that are appropriate for the surface, following label instructions.”10

You can also check out a list of disinfectants the CDC indicates are most likely to be effective against COVID-19, including Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, Lysol® Disinfectant Spray, and Virasept.

Heads Up
Make homemade hand sanitizer
You can make a homemade bleach solution by mixing five tablespoons of bleach per gallon of water or four teaspoons of bleach per quart of water.10

We also recommend thoroughly disinfecting your new home before you unpack and settle in. Bring that same selection of disinfectants, and follow the CDC’s guidelines for cleaning and sanitizing your space.


How can I minimize contact if I have to get a moving estimate?

If you have to move, consider getting a virtual in-home estimate rather than have professional movers come to your home. Many moving crews can give you an estimate simply by looking at a video of your home, or by doing a virtual walkthrough on apps like FaceTime and Skype.

It’s easy to maintain social distancing if your movers aren’t even in the house.

If you’re looking for somewhere to start, each of our best moving van line companies offers virtual estimates:


How else could COVID-19 affect my move?

The full consequences of the COVID-19 crisis aren’t known, but there are several ways the pandemic could potentially affect your move:

  • Temporary government orders in the cities you are moving to and from could prevent you from moving.
  • Temporary government orders could prevent you from eating at restaurants en route to your new home.
  • Potential grocery store shortages could prevent you from stocking up the fridge at your new home.
  • Widespread transmission of COVID-19 and moving company policies could limit the number of workers available to help with your move.
  • Social distancing guidelines could prevent family, friends, and hired labor from gathering in groups of 10 or more and standing within six feet of each other while loading and unloading your moving truck.
  • Money received via a federal government economic stimulus plan could be saved for moving expenses when life gets back to normal.
  • An increase in demand can result in hours-long hold times to reach customer service representatives to set up internet services, ask mortgage questions, and possibly even book your movers.

Do moving companies provide COVID-19 deals?

Moving companies are responding to the COVID-19 virus in a variety of ways. See reviews for our best rental truck companies, best moving container companies, and best car shipping companies to get the latest information.


Where do I get the latest information about moving during coronavirus?

Move.org continues to monitor how COVID-19 affects the moving industry, and we update our content often. For general updates about COVID-19, we recommend you go to www.coronavirus.gov.


Are moving companies essential businesses?

It depends. The definition of what’s considered an essential service may change from one city or state to another. We recommend you consult your local ordinances and regulations to see if moving companies are essential where you live. You can also check Move.org to see which moving companies are open.


Are moving companies shut down?

Most moving companies are open during COVID-19—and many of them offer special discounts to move during the pandemic. This includes full-service movers, truck rental companies, moving container companies, and car shipping companies. Just be sure to check your local ordinances and regulations to see if moving companies in your area qualify as essential businesses.


Are moving companies open during the COVID-19 outbreak?

Most moving companies are open for business during the COVID-19 outbreak. However, some limitations may apply such as reduced operating hours or the closure of select locations. Click on “Learn more” in the tables below to see each company’s caveats.

Car shipping companies open during COVID-19 outbreak

Interstate moving companies open during COVID-19 outbreak

Junk removal companies open during COVID-19 outbreak

Motorcycle shipping companies open during COVID-19 outbreak

Moving labor companies open during COVID-19 outbreak

Company
Status
Additional info

Open

Open

Open

Storage companies open during COVID-19 outbreak

Truck rental companies open during COVID-19 outbreak


Recommended resources

When you feel it’s safe to move, we’ve identified some of the best companies to help you:

People also asked . . .

Sources

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), May 13, 2020. Accessed December 10, 2020.
  2. World Health Organization, "WHO Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Dashboard: Overview," September 13, 2021. Accessed September 13, 2021.
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “United States COVID-19 Cases, Deaths, and Laboratory Testing (NAATs) by State, Territory, and Jurisdiction,” September 12, 2021. Accessed September 13, 2021.
  4. CNN, “State of the Union,” November 15, 2020. Accessed December 10, 2020.
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “How to Protect Yourself & Others,” November 27, 2020. Accessed December 11, 2020.
  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “How to Protect Yourself & Others,” November 27, 2020. Accessed December 11, 2020.
  7. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Domestic Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” December 2, 2020. Accessed December 10, 2020.
  8. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “When to Wear Gloves,” July 16, 2020. Accessed December 10, 2020.
  9. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “How to Protect Yourself & Others,” November 27, 2020. Accessed December 11, 2020.
  10. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Cleaning and Disinfection for Households,” July 10, 2020. Accessed December 10, 2020.
Kurt Manwaring
Written by
Kurt Manwaring
Kurt Manwaring brings nearly a decade’s worth of research experience as a business consultant to the Move.org team. He specializes in taking complicated issues (like moving) and presenting them in a way that everyone can understand. His writing has been featured in hundreds of publications, including USA Today, Martha Stewart Living, Country Living, Good Housekeeping, Heavy, Slate, and Yahoo! Lifestyle. He brings a BS in sociology and an MPA (masters of public administration) to the Move team. He would love to hear about your moving experiences and questions at kurt@move.org.