But Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick admits allowing property viewings but banning family visits ‘may seem confusing at first glance’.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has faced down social media criticism of the government for allowing property viewings while still preventing millions of people from visiting family and friends who are not part of their household.

In a statement issued just a few hours ago, Jenrick defended the government’s position as many people took to Twitter and Facebook to complaint that the government is prioritising sales and lettings agents ahead of personal needs, relationships and community cohesion.

On Twitter @AndrewBrazier1 said: “So as from today we can view a property House with garden but we can’t get a haircut?.”
And @LaurenKendrick added: “So the housing market has reopened and you can now go into a strangers house to view their property.

“But we still aren’t allowed to visit grandparents? Garden centres are reopened where we are surrounded my strangers. But we still can’t visit our family? Really don’t get it.”

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And @Simonmwuk commented: “Farcical that the housing market has reopened. I can put my house up for sale, have strangers come in and view it but still not see my family? This government is in a mess.”

Loved ones

Jenrick has clearly been reading the social media posts: “People have asked why they would be able to look around a stranger’s house, but not visit their parents or loved ones at home,” he says.

“Now I understand why that might seem confusing at first glance – especially when people have been separated from their loved ones for so long.

“But our guidelines make clear that in the first instance that viewings should happen virtually.

“When viewings do happen in person, we’ve set out a clear plan to ensure the safety of those already in the property itself, those considering moving in and the estate agents and lettings agents.”

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