Royal Mail has released a list of 28 areas suffering from limited delivery services as more employees are affected by Covid-19.
The zones – 27 in England and one in Northern Ireland – are no longer receiving regular mail due to the high number of Royal Mail employees who are either sick or self-isolating.
The areas affected include 13 in or near London while others include Leeds City, Chelmsford, Widnes and Margate.
With some affected residents complaining that they haven’t received any mail for more than a month, fears have emerged that older residents will not receive notification when a coronavirus vaccine is available.
Valerie Wallbank from Hainaut informed the Ilford recorder that she had not received any mail since December 12th.
“It’s pretty serious,” she told the newspaper. “Some people don’t mind doing everything online, but for some of us it’s pretty important.”
The problem has resulted in MPs and the Communication Workers Union (CWU) among others adding postal workers to the priority list of people to receive coronavirus vaccinations.
In a statement posted with the list on their website, Royal Mail said it was “working hard to provide all of our customers with the most complete, high-quality service we can,” despite the pandemic and its growth Pressure on delivery resources due to the increase in online shopping.
“The combination of a greatly increased acceptance of online shopping and the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions mean that all delivery companies are recording exceptionally high volumes,” the statement said.
“Every single package and every letter is important to us. Despite our efforts and significant investments in additional resources, delivery times for some customers may be slightly longer than our usual service standards.
“This is due to the exceptionally high volume we are seeing, which is compounded by the coronavirus-related measures we have taken in local postal centers and delivery offices to keep our employees and customers safe. In such cases we always work hard to get back to our usual level of service as quickly as possible. “
Ilford MP Wes Streeting said while it was understandable that Royal Mail was affected by the virus, the problems “had a serious impact on people who receive important NHS correspondence, both through their vaccination and other routine appointments” .
“I was told on the spot that Royal Mail is prioritizing delivery of parcels to reduce the backlog, but I was wondering if there is some way to clearly mark NHS correspondence as such and prioritize it for delivery,” Streeting told The Daily Telegraph. “Nobody wants to see a situation where people miss their vaccination appointments.”
On its website, Royal Mail recommends that people in the regions who have received a “Something for You” card from the Service check the website for revised opening times for when they can pick up the item.
“If we didn’t leave a ‘Something for You’ card and you haven’t made alternative arrangements, we’re sorry your mail is not available for collection,” the council said.
The Daily Mail reported that the CWU has asked the government to prioritize postal workers on the list of people to receive Covid vaccinations and that BT has also requested that its engineers be added to help with their capabilities .
The areas are:
Barnsley (S70, S71, S72 and S75)
Bury St. Edmunds (IP28-IP33)
Shades of gray (RM16-RM20)
Horsham (RH12, RH13)
Leeds City (LS1-LS5)
Magherafelt (BT45, BT46)
South Ockendon (RM15)
South Woodford (E18)
Upper Holloway (N7)