Islanders are growing increasingly concerned that important letters inviting them for a COVID-19 vaccination are not being received as Royal Mail struggle with postal deliveries.
With the number of coronavirus cases on the rise, Royal Mail is struggling to keep up with the demand as swathes of staff members self-isolate.
Island Echo readers have been in touch this week to question the lack of post in recent days, with one resident in Lake saying their block of flats – mainly occupied by elderly residents – hasn’t received any post for over a week. Normally they would expect at least 1 piece of post a day. This is causing great concern for those expecting a COVID vaccination in the coming days and weeks with fears they simply won’t receive the invitation letter in time.
Today (Tuesday), the postal service has confirmed 28 areas in the UK are under a limited service due to resourcing issues. Although the Isle of Wight is not included on this list, it appears that things are not running as normal. Observations indicate that parcel deliveries – for items such as Amazon packages – are operating as near to normal as possible but that letters are not being delivered.
Law dictates that those with coronavirus, suspected of having coronavirus or those who have been in contact with a positive case must self-isolate for 10 days, which could mean a significant delay for Royal Mail deliveries with staff off work for around 2 weeks.
Royal Mail has been approached for a statement with regards to the specific impact on the Island and what is being done to resolve the situation, especially given the Island’s higher-than-average number of elderly residents.
UPDATE @ 12:00 – Royal Mail has issued a statement regarding the delays, but has not addressed Island Echo’s questions over how long the delay is and what is being done here on the Isle of Wight specifically.
A spokesperson has said:
“Across the UK, our people are working hard to deliver as comprehensive a service as possible to all our customers in challenging circumstances. Despite our best endeavours, it is possible that some areas of the country may experience a reduction in service levels due to higher volumes of mail during the lockdown, the ongoing impact of COVID-related staff absences and necessary social distancing measures at local mail centres and delivery offices.
“Right from the start of this crisis, we have played a key role keeping the country connected. Every single letter and parcel is important to us. Like most organisations, we have a number of employees who are self-isolating in line with government guidance. This has a direct impact on our staffing levels, especially in areas where there are higher levels of local outbreaks. We are working hard to deliver as normal a service as we can, drawing in extra resource and offering additional overtime where possible.
“We remain grateful to all our customers in these areas for their patience and understanding as our dedicated workforce work hard to deliver these exceptional volumes, whilst also adhering to necessary social distancing measures. We always endeavour to keep our customers updated on any changes to our services. We have a dedicated section on our website. Throughout the pandemic, every decision we make puts the health of our people and customers first.”
Are you receiving your post ok? When was the last time the postman visited your property? Comment below…