Can I Move During the COVID-19 Outbreak?

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

FAQ about moving during COVID-19

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ASK THE EXPERTS

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.

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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 55.1 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide as of this writing,2 and the CDC reports more than 247,000 US deaths.3 Accordingly, local, state, and federal governments are taking steps 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.

“What we need most right now . . . is a full implementation of social distancing,” wrote Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, on March 19. “Simply avoiding symptomatic people will not go far enough to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.”

In particular, the US government recommends 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.4

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HOW ELSE CAN I PROTECT MYSELF FROM COVID-19?

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.5

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 company and local government offices to see if your move has been affected by orders restricting travel and gatherings.

Guidelines and restrictions vary state to state. While local governments can give you counsel on when it is okay to travel, the CDC identifies two activities that may qualify as essential travel:6

  1. Travel to provide medical or home care
  2. Travel necessary for a job considered an essential service

If you need to move to another state during COVID-19, consult state or local health departments. Keep in mind that the CDC recommends limiting travel and practicing social distancing.

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.

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 six things before traveling within the US:

  1. Is COVID-19 spreading in the area where you’re going?
  2. Will you or your travel companion(s) be in close contact with others during your trip?
  3. Are you or your travel companion(s) more likely to get severe illness if you get COVID-19?
  4. Do you have a plan for taking time off from work or school, in case you are told to stay home for 14 days for self-monitoring or if you get sick with COVID-19?
  5. Do you live with someone who is older or has a serious, chronic medical condition?
  6. Is COVID-19 spreading where I live when I return from travel?

If you can’t postpone your move, these same questions can help you plan your relocation to be as safe as possible.

Can I be evicted if I don’t move?

The CDC issued a temporary order that prevents landlords from evicting tenants, lessees, or residents through the end of 2020 (not including mortgage foreclosures or evictions for reasons other than not being able to make a payment).7 To qualify, you must provide your landlord with a signed declaration indicating agreement with seven criteria:

  1. Financial assistance. You have used your best efforts to obtain government housing assistance.
  1. Income. Your income won’t exceed $99,000 in 2020 (or $198,000 if filing jointly).
  1. Inability to pay. You cannot pay your rent because you have suffered a significant loss to household income, work hours, or extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses.
  1. Partial payments. You have tried to make partial payments as permitted by your circumstances.
  1. Homeless. If evicted, you would likely become homeless or have to live with others in close quarters.
  1. Agreement to pay. You agree to pay the full rent amount plus fees, penalties, and interest.
  1. End of order. You understand the full rent amount may be due when the temporary order concludes on December 31, 2020.

The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development also has resources for renters, including a state-by-state listing of rental assistance programs and tips for communicating with your landlord.

We recommend you contact your local elected officials, housing authorities, and financial institutions to learn more about how regulations apply in your specific situation.

Will gloves help if I move during COVID-19?

If you have to move during COVID-19, gloves will help protect your hands from injury, but they aren’t recommended for preventing the virus. Rather than help prevent the spread of COVID-19, gloves can actually create another surface for the virus to live on.9

“I don’t think (gloves) are going to do anything but give people a false sense of security, waste time, and create more demand for something that’s unnecessary,” Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security, told TODAY.

What is the best way to disinfect my personal belongings?

The CDC recommends cleaning frequently used items and surfaces as often as possible with “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 exclamation

MAKE HOMEMADE DISINFECTANT

MAKE HOMEMADE DISINFECTANT

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 movers come to your home. Many moving companies 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 COVID-19 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 COVID-19 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 your ability to move, and we update our articles weekly. 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 business 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?

Are movers working right now? You may not be able to sit down at your favorite restaurant during the COVID-19 outbreak, but many moving companies are still open for business.

For those companies that remain open, 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

CompanyStatusAdditional info
AmeriFreightOpenLearn more
Montway Auto TransportOpenLearn more
Sherpa Auto TransportOpenLearn more
Ship a Car DirectOpenLearn more
uShip
OpenLearn more

Interstate moving companies open during COVID-19 outbreak

CompanyStatusAdditional info
Allied Van LinesOpenLearn more
American Van LinesOpenLearn more
Expedia Van LinesOpenLearn more
First National Van LinesOpenLearn more
International Van Lines
OpenLearn more
Interstate Moving & Relocation GroupOpenLearn more
North American Van Lines
OpenLearn more
PODSOpenLearn more
Silver Star Moving GroupOpenLearn more
United Van LinesOpenLearn more

Junk removal companies open during COVID-19 outbreak

CompanyStatusAdditional info
1-800-GOT-JUNK
OpenLearn more
College Hunks Hauling Junk
OpenLearn more
LoadUpOpenLearn more
Waste Management Dumpster Rentals
OpenLearn more

Motorcycle shipping companies open during COVID-19 outbreak

CompanyStatusAdditional info
AmeriFreightOpenLearn more
Montway Auto TransportOpenLearn more
Motorcyle Shippers
OpenLearn more
uShip
OpenLearn more

Moving labor companies open during COVID-19 outbreak

CompanyStatusAdditional info
DollyOpenLearn more
HireAHelperOpenLearn more
TaskRabbitOpenLearn more
Status Additional info
Open Learn more
Open Learn more
Open Learn more

Storage companies open during COVID-19 outbreak

CompanyStatusAdditional info
CubeSmartOpenLearn more
Extra Space StorageOpenLearn more
Public StorageOpenLearn more
U-HaulOpenLearn more
Status Additional info
Open Learn more
Open Learn more
Open Learn more
Open Learn more

Truck rental companies open during COVID-19 outbreak

CompanyStatusAdditional info
BudgetOpenLearn more
EnterpriseOpenLearn more
PenskeOpenLearn more
The Home DepotOpenLearn more
U-HaulOpenLearn more
Status Additional info
Open Learn more
Open Learn more
Open Learn more
Open Learn more
Open Learn more

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) and You
  2. World Health Organization, “WHO Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Dashboard: Overview,” November 18, 2020. Accessed November 18, 2020.
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Cases in the U.S.” November 18, 2020. Accessed November 18, 2020.
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): How to Protect Yourself
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): How to Protect Yourself
  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Coronavirus and Travel in the United States
  7. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “HHS/CDC Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions,” 2020. Accessed November 3, 2020.
  8. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Clean and Disinfect
  9. The Sacramento Bee, “Can Wearing Gloves Help Prevent Coronavirus? Here’s What Health Experts Say
  10. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Clean and Disinfect

About Kurt Manwaring

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, Country Living, Good Housekeeping, Heavy, Slate, and Yahoo! Lifestyle. He would love to hear about your moving experiences and questions at kurt@move.org.