As if moving wasn't stressful enough, the pandemic promises to make every aspect of the process a bit more complicated. Each year, tens of thousands of people take part in Montreal's Moving Day — a citywide jumble of boxes, trucks, and bodies squeezing past each other through narrow streets, crowded sidewalks, and steep staircases. To help movers out in the current context, the Société d’habitation du Québec (SHQ) has outlined a series of health and safety tips in a document on its website.

These include several recommended steps before the move, like contacting landlords "about the recent health status of [...] previous tenants" and calling Info-Santé 811 if they had COVID-19 symptoms.

Movers should also "plan [their] sequence of actions" ahead of time to avoid contact with other people, "pack up as many boxes as possible before moving," and coordinate moving with the "previous tenant or landlord" to limit interactions.

The SHQ asks that anyone presenting COVID-19 symptoms delay their move.

Movers can have friends and family over to help out, the Government of Quebec explains, but the two-metre social distancing rule still applies everywhere.

The SHQ further says that only two people should ride an elevator at a time.

When multiple people carry a large object, the organization suggests the use of straps "so as to respect both distancing measures and recognized safety practices."

It recommends that every group of movers designate a "hygiene rules captain" to enforce best health practices for the duration of the move.

In addition to regular hand-washing, movers should wear gloves when they're not in transit.

Finally, the SHQ asks that movers clean their old apartments and disinfect doorknobs before leaving for the last time.

Tenants have even more cleaning to do in their new homes.

The company says they should use an alcohol-based solution to disinfect their new digs, "paying close attention to frequently touched surfaces, such as furniture, appliances, doorknobs, and so on."

"Special attention" should also go to disinfecting the bathroom, including the "walls, sink, toilet," and bath.

After getting settled in, movers are asked to "wait for a minimum of 24 hours before getting rid of [...] empty boxes" and not "shake out dirty laundry."

Instead, "all fabrics, such as sheets, towels and clothing," should be washed "in hot water with [tenants'] usual laundry detergent."

The Quebec government has also introduced a series of measures to help vulnerable tenants ahead of July 1.

It'll be a Moving Day unlike any before.

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