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Royal Mail delivery chaos in 12 areas due to the ‘pingdemic’

DELIVERIES of letters and packages have been disrupted after a wave of postal staff have been forced into Covid self-isolation.

Royal Mail service alerts were issued for eight locations alone over the weekend, from Bath to Blackpool.

Royal Mail staff are self-isolating affecting deliveries in some areas


Royal Mail staff are self-isolating affecting deliveries in some areasCredit: Getty

Posties are the latest to be hit by the so called “pingdemic”, which has forced thousands of workers into coronavirus quarantine leaving supermarkets and pubs without staff.

Iceland and M&S bosses yesterday warned of store closures and reduced hours due to staff self-isolating after being “pinged” by the NHS Covid app.

Pub chains Greene King and Wetherspoons have also been forced to close branches.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that some workers will be exempt from these Track and trace self-isolation pings to prevent food shortages and blackouts.

Workers in food factories, transport and critical national security jobs will be able to skip self isolation to stop the country grinding to a halt.

Royal Mail is warning of disruption to postal services in 12 areas in total at the moment.

The postal service warned of 28 areas hit by Covid back in January back when the third national lockdown began.

There are 12 areas where postal deliveries face delays


There are 12 areas where postal deliveries face delays

In a message on its website Royal Mail apologised to customers for the inconvenience and said it will prioritise the delivery of Covid vaccination letters and test kits.

It said that it “aims deliver at least every other day in these areas, though this may not always be possible in offices temporarily affected by very high levels of absence”.

A Royal Mail spokesperson told The Sun: “The health and safety of our colleagues and our customers is our number one priority.

“In a limited number of areas, we are experiencing some disruption to service due to Covid related absences.

“In impacted areas, we are focused on providing as comprehensive a service as possible to our customers.”

An alert for households in Henley on Thames went out on July 12, followed by Debden, Newton Abbot and Plympton on July 14.

Eight notices of delays then went out at the weekend in the largest wave yet of postie self-isolations.

Staff shortages are now affecting the following areas and postcodes:

  • Bath (BA1 and BA2)
  • Blackpool (FY1 to FY6)
  • Chorley (PR6)
  • Debden (IG7, IG8, IG9, IG10)
  • Enfield (EN1, EN2, EN3)
  • Henley on Thames (RG9)
  • Middleton (M24)
  • Newton Abbot (TQ12, TQ13)
  • Plympton (PL7)
  • Rochdale (OL11, OL12, OL13, OL14, OL15, OL16)
  • Southport (PR8)
  • Worthing (BN11, BN12, BN13, BN14)

Total alerts so far in July number 15, compared to just four in the whole of June.

Services at three locations affected this month – Yate, Ivybridge and Hythe – have since returned to normal.

You can check opening times near you using Royal Mail’s online tool – just enter your postcode.

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