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In what is sure to be a win for looky-loos and nosy neighbors, open houses are now permitted across California although select health and safety measures remain in place. 

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) updated its guidance for the real estate industry on May 12th, effective immediately, allowing open houses on a walk-in basis to recommence. 

These in-person events must adhere to capacity limits based on the state’s color-coded tier system. In the current yellow tier (also known as tier 4), indoor gatherings are limited to 50 percent capacity or 50 people, whichever is fewer.

Physical distancing between households is required, along with face coverings. Hand sanitizer should also be available to attendees. The guidance states that people who are feeling unwell or exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms are not permitted to attend open houses.

To keep realtors up-to-date on the latest recommendations, the California Association of Realtors (CAR) published a quick guide for open house and showing rules. Advertising open houses is permissible and appointments are not required, although all attendees must sign in and attest that they have not been recently exposed to someone with COVID-19 and do not have any COVID-like symptoms. 

Rules for entry must be posted at the entrance and the property should be cleaned once a day in accordance with CDC guidelines. Doors and windows should also be kept open when possible to minimize surface contact and ensure proper air circulation. 

In its guide, CAR noted that realtors should verify the local showing rules for their city or county before conducting open houses.

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