Royal Mail said on Tuesday that 28 areas in the UK are no longer receiving regular post as its workforce has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Despite our best efforts and significant investment in extra resource, some customers may experience slightly longer delivery timescales than our usual service standards,” Royal Mail said in a statement.
“This is due to the exceptionally high volumes we are seeing, exacerbated by the coronavirus-related measures we have put in place in local mail centres and delivery offices to keep our people and customers safe,” it said.
Royal Mail attributed the high volumes partly to the “greatly increased uptake of online shopping” during the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic.
It said the company will “work hard to get back to providing our usual level of service as quickly as we can.”
The 28 areas where post might be late include 27 in England and one in Northern Ireland. Thirteen zones in or near London have been affected.
Some UK residents have complained in recent months that they had not received mail for weeks.
In November, it was reported that residents in parts of Oxfordshire had been left without post for weeks because of a shortage of postal workers.
Earlier this week, Valerie Wallbank from Hainault in northeast London told the Ilford Recorder that she had not received any mail since Dec. 12.
A Royal Mail spokesperson told the local paper that the company had staff absences linked to the CCP virus, with 40 percent of staff in the area off sick before the Christmas holidays.
Wes Streeting, Labour MP for Ilford, said he is concerned about residents not receiving letters from the National Health Service (NHS) inviting them to get vaccinated against the CCP virus.
More than half a million letters inviting people to be vaccinated will be sent in the coming days. @RoyalMail delays have been so bad – because covid is knocking out staff – that I am worried about them arriving. Is there a way to prioritise these letters, @nadhimzahawi?
— Wes Streeting MP (@wesstreeting) January 10, 2021
“More than half a million letters inviting people to be vaccinated will be sent in the coming days.
@RoyalMail delays have been so bad—because COVID is knocking out staff—that I am worried about them arriving,” he wrote on Twitter.
Nadhim Zahawi, the vaccines minister, responded by saying that the government will work with Royal Mail to ensure the invitation letters are prioritised.