UK Services FAQ

Last updated 26 January 2021

UK Services FAQ

Last updated 26 January 2021

Current service status:

The postal service is a key part of the UK’s infrastructure. The delivery of parcels and letters is a key way of keeping the country together and helping many people who may not have the option to leave their homes.

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, the ongoing impact of COVID-related staff absences and necessary social distancing measures at local mail centres and delivery offices. 

From the start of this pandemic, 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. For the latest service updates and to sign up for emails, click here.

We have already made a series of adjustments to our parcel handling procedures. We are keeping our ways of working under review. There may be more changes in the coming days and weeks. Click here to find information on changes to our services.

 
 

General advice for customers

The most up-to-date information on how coronavirus affects your Royal Mail service.

Delivery of mail

 
For all customers (including those who are self-isolating) where we need to deliver any parcel that won’t fit through your letterbox, we will place your item at your door. Having knocked on your door, we'll 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. 

If you're unable to come to the door at all we'll leave a ‘Something for You’ card, advising of other ways you can arrange to get your item. For example, a friend or family member may be able to collect your parcel from our local Customer Service Point. They'll need to bring along the card we left you and relevant ID. Full information on acceptable forms of ID can be found here.

Alternatively, if somebody who is able to come to the door is likely to be home at a later date, you can us to redeliver your item then. We’ll endeavour to deliver it on the day of your choosing though this may not be possible due to reduced resource as a result of coronavirus. We’ll get your item back out to you as close to your chosen date as possible.

 
In order to protect both our people and customers as much as possible, we're no longer handing over our hand-held devices to customers to capture signatures. Instead, postmen and women will log the name of the person accepting the item. This will apply to all deliveries that require a signature. 

We’re working hard to deliver as comprehensive a service as possible across the UK, 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, the ongoing impact of COVID-related staff absences and necessary social distancing measures at local mail centres and delivery offices. This will vary across different areas at different times.

Like most organisations, some of our employees will need to self-isolate at times, 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.

You may also experience less frequent deliveries if we do not have mail for your address in our offices on some days.  

In areas where absence levels are most acute, we may need to deliver standard mail (if you have any) on alternate days, to ensure we’re getting to as many customers as possible, as frequently as we can.

 
You can arrange for us to redeliver your item by visiting royalmail.com/redelivery. We’ll endeavour to deliver it on the day of your choosing though this may not be possible due to reduced resource as a result of coronavirus. We’ll get your item back out to you as close to your chosen date as possible.

 
We’re really sorry for any inconvenience caused. To protect the health and safety of our people and our customers, we’re keeping the opening times of our Customer Services Points in our local delivery offices under constant review. Current and up-to-date opening times will always be available by searching for your local delivery office at royalmail.com/services-near-you.

To support the Government’s advice, we urge customers to only visit Customer Service Points where absolutely necessary.

Sorry, unless we’ve left you a card advising we’ve attempted delivery or have something for you – or you’ve arranged an alternative service - you won’t be able to collect mail from the local office. This is because your mail won’t yet have been fully sorted and prepared and ready to collect. Please consider one of the alternative options available at royalmail.com/usefulservices.

To support the Government’s advice to stay at home, we’re asking customers to only visit Customer Service Points when absolutely necessary.

To protect the health and safety of our people and our customers, we’ve temporarily changed the opening times of our Customer Service Points in our local delivery offices. These are subject to change as advice and guidance is updated and in response to local circumstances. It’s important you check the opening times of your local office before visiting – and please only visit if necessary, to help protect yourself and others. 

Find your local Customer Service Point 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.
 

Collection services?

 
Yes, we continue to collect from as many customers, boxes and Post Offices as possible, as often as we can. Despite our best endeavours, some areas of the country will experience reduced service levels at some points due to Coronavirus-related absences.

We are endeavouring to collect from all business customers that remain open, unless you've asked us not to. This may be at different times from usual, so please have your mail ready as early as possible. We’ll attempt to let you know of any changes to our plans so you can continue to plan your business mailings.

And if you’d like to temporarily stop your business collections – or are ready to restart them – you can let us know by completing a simple online form.

Protecting employees and customers

Coronaviruses are thought to be spread most often by respiratory droplets. Although the virus can survive for a short period on some surfaces, it is unlikely to be spread from domestic or international mail, products or packaging. However, it may be possible that people can get Covid-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.

 
We take the wellbeing of our employees very seriously. In line with guidance from Public Health England, we are advising colleagues that good hand hygiene is the first and most important line of defense. As well as recommending regular washing with soap and water, disposable gloves are available to our people on request. This already forms part of our good hygiene practice. We have already adopted enhanced disinfectant cleaning of communal areas in all Royal Mail sites.

We have also changed the way we deliver items that won’t fit through the letterbox. For all customers (including those who are self-isolating) where we need to deliver any parcel that won’t fit through your letterbox, we will place the item at the door. Having knocked on the door, we will then step aside to a safe distance while the customer retrieves the item. This will ensure the item is delivered securely rather than being left outside. 

 
We take the wellbeing of our employees very seriously. We are advising all employees to follow guidance from the NHS, which currently recommends a period of self-isolation.

To support employees who should not be attending work, we are also realigning our sick pay policies. 

 We take the wellbeing of our employees and customers very seriously. We are closely following Public Health England guidance. 

If a Royal Mail employee suspects that he/she may have coronavirus, they are advised to following current NHS guidance. It may be that the employee will be advised to self-isolate.  

In situations where there is a confirmed employee case, we follow advice from Public Health England, which may include disinfectant cleaning the office or vehicle they've been working in.

In line with continued Health and Government guidance, we continue to advise colleagues that good hand hygiene is the first and most important line of defense. We have taken a number of measures and provided preventative guidance to our colleagues. This includes promoting regular hand washing with soap and water, provision of hand sanitiser, disposable gloves and face coverings - available to those who require them. We are keeping colleagues informed through a range of internal communications and local support. Additionally, it has been mandatory for Royal Mail staff to wear a face covering in all work indoor workplaces since November. 

As mentioned previously, our colleagues will no longer hand over items to customers when they are too large to fit through the letterbox - instead, we will leave the item on your doorstep, knock on your door, then step back to maintain social distance throughout. 

Advice for business customers

Please refer to the general FAQ above for questions on how coronavirus might impact your customers' deliveries.

Our contingency plans and yours

You can let us know if you’d like to temporarily stop your business collections – or are ready to restart them – by completing the relevant simple online form.

Yes, we have launched a new electronic invoicing portal which sends a PDF of the invoice via email as it is generated and also provides a copy of the invoice on the portal. It's ideal for access via tablet, phone, work and alternative locations. To sign up, register here.

We have strong contingency plans in place to safely provide as normal a service as possible, in the event of localised service disruption. This may include the use of agency resource or volunteers from other offices as we follow Government advice and work closely with the relevant authorities. We have extensive experience in being able to quickly deploy business contingency plans, as well as a range of alternative, useful services available to help customers in any affected areas. 

No, we are not asking our colleagues to sign health declarations.

Royal Mail is closely following Public Health Authority advice and Government guidance to keep our people and our customers safe, and continue to brief all colleagues as such advice changes. 

We will not expect our drivers to have to complete a questionnaire. If this is unsatisfactory, customers may choose instead to post at the appropriate access point, box or Post Office counter. Colleagues should, however, continue to sign any declarations that ask for personal information which is normally provided (e.g. signing of security visitor books to enter a building). 

We are endeavouring to collect from all business customers that remain open. However, if we can’t get to you, we will always attempt to contact you on the day with alternative options for getting your mail to us. This may (but not always) include dropping your mail off at a local Post Office, one of our mail centres if close to you, or one of our Customer Service Points. Customer Service Points are operating on reduced hours – as we aim to keep our people and our customers safe – so we’d advise you make arrangements with your local office regarding the options for accepting your mail outside of the temporarily changed opening hours.

 
You can choose from a number of options available at royalmail.com/usefulservices, including:

  • Redirecting your mail to an alternative address for as long as you need us to - Business Redirection
  • Diverting all your company mail to a specific department address, or away from an address you share with other businesses that are staying open – Business Diversion
  • Leaving your mail safe with us until you reopen – a Business Keepsafe.