Coronavirus: changes to service

Last updated 24 November 2020

Coronavirus: changes to service

Last updated 24 November 2020

Changes to service 

Changes to Special Delivery Guaranteed

From Monday 28 September we’ll be changing our timed guarantees for Special Delivery Guaranteed by 9am and 1pm services and will make the following changes:

•    For items posted from Monday 28 September 2020 onwards, our guaranteed delivery for Special Delivery Guaranteed by 9.00am the next working day will change to by 11.00am* the next working day. (The guarantee was previously for by 12.00pm* from 31 March to 26 September 2020).

•    Our guaranteed delivery for Special Delivery Guaranteed by 1.00pm the next working day will change to by 4.00pm* the next working day. (The guarantee was previously for by 9.00pm* from 31 March to 26 September 2020).

•    This includes items where a Saturday guarantee has been purchased.

*existing postcode exceptions apply


Delivery Offices – Further Change in Opening Hours

From 16 November, the opening hours of our Customer Service Points in our local delivery offices were extended for greater customer convenience during this festive period. Please check the new updated hours from Monday 16 November.

Find your local Delivery Office opening hours here or on the Royal Mail app.

As a reminder, we can also redeliver your item(s) for free. Schedule your redelivery here.


Temporary change to postal arrangements on Saturdays 

For six weeks from 2 May until 13 June, we introduced a temporary postal arrangement as a result of coronavirus-related absences and necessary social distancing measures.  While we continued to provide a letter delivery service from Monday to Friday as normal, we temporarily no longer delivered letters on a Saturday. We made this temporary change to help ease the additional burden on our hard-working colleagues. 

From Saturday June 13 this temporary change came to an end and we resumed Saturday deliveries for letter products. 

We appreciate your patience and support during this unprecedented period and thank you for your continuing business with Royal Mail.

Click here more information on changes.


Return to regular retention periods in Customer Service Points

To help our customers during the early days of Covid-19, between Monday 6 April and Monday 31 August 2020, we temporarily extended the retention period to 30 calendar days, to give recipients longer to collect or have their item redelivered before returning items to the sender. From Tuesday 1 September 2020 the retention period will revert to the standard 18 calendar days (21 calendar days for Custom charges).

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 or Post Office® branch


Signing for and receiving items

In order to protect both our people and customers as much as possible, we are minimising contact during delivery.  We will not be handing over our hand-held devices to customers to capture signatures but instead log the name of the person accepting the item.  Additionally, for all customers where we need to deliver any item that won’t fit through your letterbox, we will place your item at your door. Having knocked on your door, we 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. 

More information about this change can be found in the Domestic section below or on product pages.


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.

We recognise that 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, we are making arrangements to deliver to a central point (e.g. reception) rather than individual addresses within care homes from 19th March. These changes will help to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of our people and the vulnerable in society.


Changes to Door to door mailings

We 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. 

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