POST Office branches remain open under the second coronavirus lockdown in England.
They are considered an “essential service” by providing a lifeline for banking services, collecting benefits, bill payments and to enable letters and parcels to be sent.
⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates
The majority of Post Office branches will remain open during lockdown – although sometimes with reduced hoursCredit: Alamy
Are Post Offices open today?
Yes, Post Offices remain open even after the new coronavirus restrictions came into force across England on November 5.
There are around 11,500 Post Office branches around the UK, the majority of which are run independently or as a franchise arrangement.
The Post Office has confirmed that the vast majority will remain open as normal, although opening hours may change at short notice in order for the branch to deep clean or due to coronavirus-related staff sickness.
What are Post Offices opening times?
Opening times have always varied by branch, with no set hours across the network.
Standalone Post Offices are currently open but hours vary from branch to branch, with closures on Sunday.
The first hour of every day in Post Offices which aren’t franchised or part of newsagents is for elderly and vulnerable customers as well as NHS staff and care workers.
For any other Post Offices, you’ll need to check its online branch finder tool to check its opening hours.
Hours are subject to change, so keep an eye your local branch website for information.
If you pop down to your local Post Office and it’s closed, there should be a poster in the window advertising where your nearest open branch is.
Businesses that can stay OPEN during England’s second lockdown
THE list of businesses that are allowed to stay open during lockdown is largely the same as last time. These include:
- Takeaways, food deliveries and food shops
- Health shops
- Medical services, such as dentists
- Pet shops
- Hardware stores
- Garden centres
- Retail shops in hospitals
- Petrol stations
- Bicycle shops
- Laundrettes and dry cleaners
- Banks, building societies
- Short-term loan providers, credit unions and cash points
- Storage and distribution centres
- Post Offices
- Car rental services and car parks near vital services such as supermarkets
- Public toilets
- Car garages and repair shops
- Food banks and shelters
- Hotels, hostels and other accommodation (for work purposes only)
What services does the Post Office offer?
As well as sending letters and parcels, you can also use your Post Office to access your high street bank account and make withdrawals, deposits, balance enquiries and more.
Customers can also verify documents via the Post Office’s GOV.UK services.
The service was struggling with delays earlier this year, but it’s now said to be fully operational.
If you need help, you can email email@example.com and someone will get back to you as soon as they can.
Post is also still being collected and delivered, although the Royal Mail warns there could be some delay to deliveries in some areas due to resourcing issues.
A statement on its website says: “We’re working hard to keep any delays to a minimum while keeping our people and customers safe.
“We’re sorry for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience and understanding.”
To minimise risk, workers will have to stay two metres apart with only one person in a Royal Mail delivery vehicle at any one time.
And to avoid spreading germs on handheld signature devices, postmen and postwomen will instead log the name of the person accepting the item, and sign on their behalf.
Having knocked on the door, parcels will be placed on the doorstep with Royal Mail staff then stepping aside to a safe distance while households retrieve their item.
The Insidexpress is now on Telegram and Google News. Join us on Telegram and Google News, and stay updated.