Navigating the Impacts— COVID-19 Mobility Update
CapRelo continues to curate information from our suppliers, clients and partners to share insights relative to transferring employee impact. Questions on specific cases should continue to be directed to your Client Services contact or to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Internationally— as some countries start to consider whether restrictions may be eased and whether schools and some workplaces might start to reopen, we are continuing to see international mobility delayed, cancelled, or temporarily suspended.
Some governments in Asia have introduced regulatory changes and initiatives to assist those impacted by COVID-19. For example:
- Japan has earmarked US $2.2 billion on its economic stimulus package to help its manufacturers shift production out of China as the coronavirus continues to disrupt supply chains.
- The Hong Kong government will buy 500,000 flight tickets directly from Hong Kong's airlines as part of a multi-million dollar stimulus package designed to support its aviation industry.
- Asia and Europe are seeing strengthened isolation measures remain in effect, with some countries issuing extensions. India has extended its tight lockdown as well.
- Conditions change daily; therefore, we strongly advise monitoring immigration updates. One of our valued partners, Newland Chase, provides updated advisories: https://blog.newlandchase.com/ (updated daily at 7:00 am EST and 1:30 pm EST).
In the US, state officials are struggling with plans to reopen cities with most pointing to increased testing capabilities as necessary before doing so. In the interim, conditions continue to vary from state to state. We are seeing general trends from our supplier partners and clients that are worth noting:
- Moves continue to be initiated with some conditional on telecommuting arrangements for the first few weeks.
- As of Friday, April 17, 2020, 43 states have announced statewide stay-at-home orders, with a variety of restrictions state by state. Some states have extended the duration of the original order well into May.
- Because children are not returning to school, the window for typical moves outside of the school year may be extended or families may relocate earlier and utilize remote learning being offered by school districts.
- For existing household goods moves that have been put on hold, we strongly suggest scheduling tentative move dates. Once business returns to normal, dates will be more difficult to obtain with a sharp uptick expected into the summer months.
Most lenders are now offering fewer loan options to consumers. For most lenders, there have also been adjustments made to borrower criteria. These range from increased minimum credit scores to larger required deposits, so we are pushing for pre-approval in most cases.
- Those currently in the loan application process are strongly encouraged to contact their lender and evaluate options.
A Glance From Prior Weeks
States are requiring travelers from coronavirus hotspots, and in some cases from any other state, to self-quarantine for a period of 14 days from the time of entry or the duration of the person's presence, whichever is shorter.
Destination services, rental assistance, and intercultural training continue to be delivered on a virtual basis.
U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) local offices remain closed to the public for in-person service and no applications are being taken for new Social Security Numbers at this time.
- Household goods moves transportation remains an essential service in all areas despite restrictions, and household goods moves are continuing. Enhanced health and safety protocols remain in effect.
Real estate in individual states are defining whether essential services include these business lines: real estate, mortgage, title, appraisals, and real estate inspections. This determines the ability to progress a home sale or home purchase transaction through closing.
- Under the provisions of Internal Revenue Code, § 139 - Disaster Relief Payments, employers can provide nontaxable relief for employees who incur COVID-19 related additional expenses, including those stemming from relocations that are interrupted or cancelled.
CapRelo is actively monitoring all cases to determine how moves will be impacted. Our remote workforce and technology solutions remain fully operational; therefore, we anticipate no significant disruption to service fulfillment for our clients and their transferees.
The safety and care of our employees, clients and customers is our highest priority. As circumstances evolve, we will continue to share our observations as it pertains to the relocation landscape.
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LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The statements above are not intended as a substitute for legal and/or tax advice. CapRelo is not responsible for any loss or implication arising from reliance on these statements.