Breakdown During a Lockdown: Can I Let a Tradesperson into My House?

The Coronavirus pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on the entire United Kingdom and the world. We are seeing the enforcement of measures we could not even imagine possible just three months ago, to prevent the spread of COVID-19. With many businesses shut, and employees encouraged to work from home, it comes as no surprise that people are questioning whether having a tradesperson visit the house is permitted or reasonable during the lockdown. 

Of course, just because we are staying at home it doesn’t mean that appliances won’t break and cause trouble (it is an unfair world). In fact, the increased number of people staying home, taking showers, using the heating, cooking and cleaning could actually have a negative impact on your boiler or plumbing system. The short answer is –  if a home emergency breakdown occurs, then you should certainly call a tradesperson and let them in the house. 

What the Government Says

The latest official information we have is from  the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick, who  advises:

“Work carried out in people’s homes, for example by tradespeople carrying out repairs and maintenance, can continue, provided that the tradesperson is well and has no symptoms.

“Again, it will be important to ensure that Public Health England guidelines, including maintaining a two-metre distance from any household occupants, are followed to ensure everyone’s safety.

“No work should be carried out in any household which is isolating or where an individual is being shielded, unless it is to remedy a direct risk to the safety of the household, such as emergency plumbing or repairs, and where the tradesperson is willing to do so. In such cases, Public Health England can provide advice to tradespeople and households.

“No work should be carried out by a tradesperson who has coronavirus symptoms, however mild.”

Should You Let a Tradesperson in During the Pandemic?

As long as both your household and the engineer stick to the provided guidelines, work can continue as normal. However this should only be work, classified as emergency – this includes leaks, boiler breakdowns, toilet blockages, electrical issues and damages to locks. However, if you have decided to renovate the kitchen or bathroom, this should not go ahead until the lockdown is lifted. 

You can also still proceed with your boiler replacement, if your current boiler is either unable to produce heating and hot water, or is at a stage where replacement is absolutely necessary. 

When letting a tradesperson into the house during the lockdown, these are some of the safety rules to follow:

  • The tradesperson should wear a mask and protective gloves. Ideally you should too. 
  • Ensure that your engineer has easy access to handwashing facilities, soap and antibacterial wipes/gel. 
  • Do not shake hands and come into any contact with the visiting engineer. Please keep the advised 2m distance. 
  • Though the tradesperson will clean up after themselves, it is still advisory for you to disinfect the surfaces after them. 
  • Please feel free to assist the engineer (they might need your advice) but remember to keep distance, and perhaps skip on the cuppa and biscuit for the time being. We are sure the engineers will understand.

Tradespeople work long hours and are classified as key workers. Without them many households will be left without hot water and heating, which are essential. Your engineer is also human and might need to use the bathroom throughout the day. Please do allow the visiting tradesperson to use your bathroom facilities and provide them with the means to disinfect after themselves.

If you feel uncomfortable with how the tradesperson is handling the current restrictions, please address this with themselves, or inform the company they’re working for immediately. 

If you are in need of emergency repair, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Rightio’s engineers. Our plumbers, gas engineers, electricians and locksmiths have been fully trained to work safely during the lockdown, and you can be sure you’ll receive a fast and dedicated service. 

engineer on the door during the coronavirus outbreak
woman using home sanitizing gel
washing hands during coronavirus