ROYAL Mail has changed its delivery office depot opening and closing hours amid the coronavirus crisis, as well as altering the way it makes deliveries.

The depot changes came into effect on Monday and have been put in place to ensure a safe and reliable service for its customers.

To protect staff and the public, Royal Mail has altered the opening times of Customer Services Points in local delivery offices.

  • The largest locations will now be open between 07:00-11:00am.
  • All other Customer Service Points will be open between 07:00-09:00am.

All will be closed on Wednesday and Sunday.

To support the Government’s advice to stay at home and avoid non-essential journeys, bosses are urging customers to only visit Customer Service Points where absolutely necessary.

As a reminder, staff can also redeliver your item(s) for free.

Longer retention periods in Customer Service Points

To give customers longer to collect or have their item redelivered, Royal Mail has temporarily extended the period it will keep parcels and post to 30 calendar days before items are returned to sender.

This applies to the following:

  • Items we’ve left a ‘Something for You’ card
  • Items that have a ‘Surcharge to Pay’
  • Items that have a ‘Customs Charge to Pay’
  • Local Collect items where the parcel is addressed to the Customer Service Point

Changes to Special Delivery Guaranteed

Due to increased absence levels, staff reviewed timed guarantees for Special Delivery Guaranteed by 9am and 1pm services and will make the following changes:

  • For items posted from Tuesday 31 March 2020 onwards, guaranteed delivery for Special Delivery Guaranteed by 9.00am the next working day will change to by 12.00pm the next working day*.
  • Guaranteed delivery for Special Delivery Guaranteed by 1.00pm will change to by 9.00pm the next working day*.

*existing postcode exceptions apply

Signing for and receiving items

In order to protect both staff and customers as much as possible, Royal Mail says it is minimising contact during delivery.

Staff will not be handing over the hand-held devices to customers to capture signatures but instead log the name of the person accepting the item.

Additionally, for all customers where they need to deliver any item that won’t fit through your letterbox, postmen and women will place your item at your door.

Having knocked on your door, they will then step aside to a safe distance while you retrieve your item.

This will ensure your item is delivered securely rather than being left outside.

Delivering to care homes

The Government has introduced measures to protect our most vulnerable groups, including those in residential care.

These include limiting all but essential access to care homes for external contractors.

Royal Mail said it recognises post is important to the elderly, particularly those away from their friends and families in care homes.

Therefore, to support the effort to keep the mail moving but prevent the spread of Coronavirus, staff have made arrangements to deliver to a central point (e.g. reception) rather than individual addresses within care homes from March 19.

These changes will help to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of staff and the vulnerable.

Changes to door to door mailings

Staff will deliver unaddressed door to door advertising mailings to customers who are receiving addressed letters or parcels at the same time, wherever practically possible.

Door to door mailings provide a very valuable service to small businesses and companies of all kinds as they seek to provide their goods and services.

Many small businesses need that support now more than ever. They want to send it, many consumers want to receive it.

Door to door mailings also include important communications from local government.