British Columbia

B.C. real estate agents asked to suspend open houses to protect clients from COVID 19

The request to temporarily end open houses follows an order last week by the provincial health officer to limit the size of gatherings in private residences to the immediate household plus its so-called "safe six.''

The Real Estate Council of B.C. says real estate agents should use virtual tools

Erin Seeley, the CEO of the Real Estate Council of B.C., says in a statement that real estate agents should use virtual tools to protect clients. (Robson Fletcher/CBC)

Real estate agents across British Columbia are being asked to temporarily stop holding open houses in an effort to curb the rise of COVID-19.

The recommendation comes from the regulatory agencies overseeing B.C. real estate professionals as well as the provincial association representing Realtors.

Erin Seeley, the CEO of the Real Estate Council of B.C., says in a statement that real estate agents should use virtual tools to protect clients.

"Protecting the public during the pandemic remains our top concern," Seeley said. "Real estate professionals in B.C. have been very successful in using virtual tools to limit in-person interactions with clients, and we encourage them to continue those innovative practices to keep themselves, their clients, and community members safe."

The association representing B.C. Realtors also encourage its members to keep using virtual technologies.

"With transmission rates increasing, Realtors can continue to show leadership in their communities by reducing in-person interactions, wearing masks and adapting to new public health guidelines and orders," said Darlene Hyde, CEO of the B.C. Real Estate Association.

The request to temporarily end open houses follows an order last week by the provincial health officer to limit the size of gatherings in private residences to the immediate household plus its so-called "safe six.''

Also today, police in New Westminster announced a man has been charged with three counts of violating the Quarantine Act after returning from the United States last month.

New Westminster Police say 47-year-old Makhan Singh Parhar was arrested Monday on allegations he repeatedly left his home despite being told of the mandatory requirement to isolate for 14 days.

With files from CBC News

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