What are Royal Mail’s new social distancing policies? And how do they affect post and home deliveries?

A number of new measures have been put in place to ensure safety for employees and those receiving items

In these difficult times, everyone is doing their bit to ensure we stop the spread of the coronavirus. Royal Mail is just one of many companies working hard to protect employees and those receiving deliveries.

Royal Mail has issued a statement saying its implementing a series of new measures to ensure it follows government guidelines.

Earlier this week, Boris Johnson announced that only ‘essential’ stores would stay open — with the Post Office being one of them.

As a result, Royal Mail is business as usual, but it has announced ways in which it will be working to protect both employees and people receiving post.

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New rules for postal staff

white wall with wooden flooring and boxes with helmet

(Image credit: future PLC/Polly Wreford)

In order to stop the spread of coronavirus, Royal Mail has introduced a number of measures in which staff can protect themselves and others. Some of these include limits on the number of people allowed in a delivery vehicle at a time. Ensuring colleagues are standing two metres apart. Disinfecting communal areas in all Royal Mail sites and minimising the amount parcels and post is passed between colleagues.

Shane O’Riordain, managing director of marketing, regulation and corporate affairs at Royal Mail says, ‘We are also providing disposable latex gloves, available on request.’

He goes on to say, '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.'

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How will it impact those receiving post and deliveries?

red front door with plants and shrubs with brick column

(Image credit: future PLC/Derek Robinson)

New measures mean that Royal Mail employees will no longer hand over devices for signatures. They will instead log the parcel delivery themselves.

For residents who are self-isolating, postmen and postwomen will leave parcels which cannot fit through the letterbox on doorsteps. They will then proceed to knock on the door of the house and step back a safe distance to check residents received the item — this is to ensure that items are not simply left outside.

Shane explains, 'If they are unable to come to the door 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.'

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It's also worth pointing out that Royal Mail will no longer guarantee deliveries by 1pm the next working day. It will still prioritise Special Delivery parcels and letters. Aiming to deliver them by 1pm or before the end of day, and the Special Delivery Guaranteed by 9am service remains unchanged.