Have you heard the news? Open houses are now allowed to resume! In accordance with state guidelines, the California Association of Realtors (CAR) has amended their guidelines for open houses. The only legal requirement will be regarding masks, but no physical distancing will be required. CAR has provided the following answers to common questions regarding open houses.
What will the rule be for wearing masks?
People must wear a mask indoors unless they are fully vaccinated. This follows the CDPH Guidance for Face Coverings (last updated on June 9, 2021). As long as a person is fully vaccinated, that person will not be required to wear a mask. Unvaccinated people will be required to wear a mask or face shield, if they are exempt from wearing a mask.
Are there capacity restrictions for open houses?
No. Only for “mega events.” Unless you’re planning on having an open house with more than 5,000 people, you don’t need to be concerned with any capacity limitations.
Can sellers set their own guidelines?
The seller can set their own rules as to who will be admitted to the property, such as:
- Require all visitors to wear a mask.
- Require all visitors to be vaccinated or show a negative COVID test.
- Implement a vaccine verification to determine whether individuals are required to wear a mask.
- Provide information to all visitors regarding vaccination requirements and allow vaccinated individual to self-attest that they are in compliance prior to entry.
Adopting a policy of requiring a mask is perfectly legal nor does inquiring into a person’s vaccination status violate The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This law applies to the sharing of information between covered entities such as health plans, health care clearinghouses, and certain other health care providers. It has no bearing on who can ask or answer questions about health status outside of a health care setting.
As always, please remember to be respectful.
Everyone has their own comfort levels and areas of concern when it comes to beginning to resume a “normal” life following the pandemic. You can expect to find varying guidelines and protocols for entry from one property to another. Some sellers may not be ready to resume open houses and opt to continue showing by appointment only. Please note, the guidelines will continue to change as we navigate this next stage. At Arrive Real Estate Group, our clients safety is of the upmost importance to us. Contact us today to have us help guide you through your next move!