Coronavirus: changes to service

Keeping Britain connected through Covid-19

Coronavirus: changes to service

Keeping Britain connected through Covid-19

Changes to service 

Changes to Special Delivery Guaranteed

From Thursday 24 December 2020 we reinstated our temporary timed guarantees for our Special Delivery Guaranteed by 9am and 1pm services.

  • For items posted from Thursday 24 December 2020 onwards, our guaranteed delivery for Special Delivery Guaranteed by 9am the next working day will be by 11.00am the next working day*
  • Our guaranteed delivery for Special Delivery Guaranteed by 1pm the next working day will be by 4.00pm the next working day*.
  • This includes items where a Saturday guarantee has been purchased.

*existing postcode exceptions apply

Find out more about previous Special Delivery Guaranteed changes.


Delivery Offices – Further Change in Opening Hours

From 3 January 2021, the opening hours of our Customer Service Points in our local delivery offices changed. 

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 2020 until 13 June 2020, 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 13 June 2020 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 reverted 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've been delivering to a central point (e.g. reception) rather than individual addresses within care homes since March 2020. 


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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