Royal Mail keeps UK connected as essential service

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Shane O’Riordain, Royal Mail managing director of regulation and corporate affairs said: “As one of the UK’s essential services, Royal Mail remains open for business while the nation remains in lockdown. We know that the Universal Postal Service provides a lifeline to businesses and communities everywhere.

“In line with Government guidance, online retailers continue to do business. And so do we. The delivery of parcels and letters has become even more crucial as a way of keeping the country together, businesses operating, and helping many people who may not have the option to leave their homes.

“At Royal Mail, we understand the important role we have to play in helping people to stay connected. We continue to work hard to collect, process and deliver as much mail and parcels as possible in difficult circumstances.

“The mail is still scheduled to be collected and delivered as normal. This is a fast-moving situation and local service levels may at times be impacted by local absences. Despite the challenges, we remain committed to deliver the most comprehensive service we can to all our customers in these difficult times.

 “We would like to thank all our colleagues across the UK for helping to keep the nation connected in such challenging circumstances. Their work at this time is hugely appreciated.” 

Royal Mail makes it even easier to send mail from home 
With increasing numbers of people self-isolating or working from home and the resulting rapid switch to online shopping and sending parcels from home, Royal Mail has developed the following guide to make the delivery and sending of parcels easier in these difficult circumstances: 
Download the Royal Mail App if you send or receive parcels. It’s on the App store or Google Play store and lets you send parcels, track parcels, check where to drop off parcels or book a redelivery and everything else you need to manage your parcels and letters, all from your phone.

Register on the Royal Mail website if you’re a regular sender to access more features and automatically link to marketplaces like eBay to help you quickly move more of your business online.If you ship parcels on the Royal Mail App or website and print a label at home you can drop them off in Royal Mail parcel postboxes 24/7, or if you don’t have a printer you can ship on the app and bring the parcel and phone to any Royal Mail customer service point and the label will be quickly printed for you.

Keeping colleagues and customers safe

O’Riordain added: “Royal Mail takes the health and safety of its colleagues, its customers and the communities in which we operate very seriously.

“Public health authorities have advised people receiving parcels are not at risk of contracting coronavirus. From experience with other coronaviruses, we know that these types of viruses don’t survive long on objects, such as letters or parcels. This complements the highly publicised guidance from public health authorities for people to wash their hands more often than usual using soap and hot water.

“In order to protect further both our people and customers, we are temporarily not handing over our hand-held devices to customers to capture signatures. Postmen and postwomen will instead log the name of the person accepting the item, and can sign on their behalf. This will apply to all deliveries that require a signature. Additionally, for all customers (including those who are self-isolating) where we need to deliver any parcel that won’t fit through their letterbox, we will place their item at their door. Having knocked on the door, we will then step aside to a safe distance while they retrieve their item. This will ensure the item is delivered securely rather than being left outside.

“If they are unable to come to the door at all we will issue a ‘Something for You’ card, advising of other ways they can arrange to get their item. For example, by getting a friend or family member to collect the parcel from our local Customer Service Point on their behalf. In this situation, and to keep their mail as secure as possible, they will need to bring along the card we left and a form of ID in the name of the person the item is addressed to. 

“We have introduced a range of new social distancing measures aimed at offering further protection for our colleagues. Standard ways of working are being revised to ensure that, wherever possible, colleagues stay two metres apart. We are implementing a new rule that means there will only be one person in a Royal Mail delivery vehicle at any one time. Processes have been further reviewed to minimise the passing of work between colleagues.

“In line with guidance from the UK’s Chief Medical Officer and public health authorities, we are advising colleagues that good hand hygiene is the first and most important line of defence. We have taken a number of measures and provided preventative guidance to our colleagues. This includes promoting regular hand washing with soap and water. We have good supplies of soap and paper towels. We are also providing disposable latex gloves, available on request. We are keeping colleagues informed through notices, and internal TV updates.

“We continue to act on public health authority advice which is updated daily. In the meantime we share regular updates and information with colleagues. We have also adopted enhanced disinfectant cleaning of communal areas in all Royal Mail sites on a daily basis. We are monitoring the situation closely.”

Please continue to check the Royal Mail website to keep updated on any changes to services.