This week’s bulletin contains the latest information about Brazil, Cayman Islands, Cape Verde, Chad, China, Honduras, Hong Kong, Japan, Lebanon, Madagascar, Mali, Nepal, New Zealand, Philippines, Portugal, Rwanda, Seychelles.
The designated operator of Brazil, Correios, informs that the measures implemented and the situation of force majeure invoked with regard to COVID-19 remain in place.
The pandemic continues to have a major impact on Correios’ operations and on the quality of international inbound and outbound services.
Temporary closures of sorting centres and delivery units, reductions in the workforce deployed in all postal units, and the limitations or lack of transport are having a dramatic effect on operations. Correios is currently unable to send letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items to various member countries.
The designated operator of the Cayman Islands, the Cayman Islands Postal Service, informs that it has extended the suspension of most international postal operations until Thursday, 1 October 2020.
The date of 1 October is subject to review by the Cayman Islands Government of the resumption of international passenger flights nearer the time.
The designated operator of Cape Verde, Correios de Cabo Verde, informs that its normal operations have resumed (Monday to Friday, 8.00 to 16.00) following the Government of Cape Vert’s announcement of the end of the lockdown. All conditions for the receipt and distribution of postal items have been stabilized and there are no longer any restrictions on the acceptance of postal items by Correios de Cabo Verde.
Domestic flights are now all operating as normal and, thanks to the resumption of essential international flights and sea connections to and from Portugal, Correios de Cabo Verde is once again able to process outbound and inbound international mail sent to, from or via this country.
the designated operator of Chad, the Société tchadienne des Postes et de l’Epargne (STPE), informs that, following improvements in the public health situation, the Chad Government reopened the country’s air borders with effect from 1 August 2020.
This means that the STPE is again able to exchange postal items with other designated operators.
In view of the measures adopted by the Honduran Government through an executive order of 9 August 2020 to minimize the spread of COVID-19, the entire territory of Honduras will remain in lockdown until 23 August 2020 (or a later date to be communicated in due course).
To minimize human contact and protect its workers, Honducor has decided that it is necessary to suspend the postal service across the entire postal supply chain until 23 August 2020, or a later date to be communicated in due course (from admission of international mail at land and sea borders, and at Ramon Villeda Morales Airport in San Pedro Sula and Toncontin Airport in Tegucigalpa). It therefore asks countries that normally send their mail to Honduras by air cargo or commercial flights not to do so for the time being; otherwise the mails will need to be stored in customs warehouses, generating significant extra costs. An exception may be made for humanitarian aid, which Honducor is able to process with the knowledge and prior authorization of the Honduran Government.
Honducor received government authorization to proceed with the first phase of reopening on 30 July 2020, and staff are gradually returning to work. Initially, the focus will be on opening dispatches received prior to the declaration of curfew on 16 March 2020, and sorting and delivering those items.
Hong Kong, China
The designated operator of Hong Kong, China, Hongkong Post, informs that special working arrangements for government employees are being extended for a further week, from 10 August 2020 to 16 August 2020.
The force majeure situation previously announced therefore remains in place, affecting the processing and delivery of all types of mail, including outbound and inbound EMS, parcel-post and letter-post services, with an impact on quality of service.
the designated operator of Japan, Japan Post, asks us to inform the designated operators of Union member countries that, following the disruption caused by the heavy rains and massive flooding, postal services in Japan have now resumed as normal. Now that the rainy season is over, all international offices of exchange in Japan are once again operating without any backlogs.
The designated operator of Lebanon, LibanPost, informs that it is planning to resume postal services as of Monday, 10 August, nationwide and, where possible, in the directly impacted areas, by creating special delivery hubs.
The designated operator of Madagascar, Paositra Malagasy, informs that, in order to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Antananarivo, the Madagascan Government has extended the lockdown measures in the Analamanga region until 23 August 2020.
In Antananarivo, the Madagascan capital, travel is subject to restrictions and the use of public transport is not permitted, in order to limit person-to-person contact as far as possible. However, post office opening hours have returned to normal (i.e. 8.00 to 16.00). Mail will therefore be delivered to post office boxes, but home deliveries may still be subject to delays.
In view of the ongoing situation, Paositra Malagasy remains unable to guarantee quality of service for all categories of inbound and outbound mail (letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items), or to comply with standards for the delivery and export EMS items.
The designated operator of Mali, La Poste du Mali, informs that normal postal services have resumed as of Wednesday, 5 August 2020.
The designated operator of Nepal, Nepal Post, informs other Union member countries and their designated operators that the Government of Nepal has decided to maintain the suspension of incoming international flights until 31 August 2020.
Domestic and international flights and domestic public transport services will be able to be resumed with effect from 1 September 2020 (and not from 17 August 2020 as communicated previously).
The designated operator of New Zealand, New Zealand Post, informs that, as a result of a confirmed community outbreak of COVID-19 in Auckland after 102 days without community transmission, the New Zealand Government has moved the Auckland region to national COVID-19 Alert Level 3 from 12.00 local time on Wednesday, 12 August 2020, provisionally until 24.00 on Friday, 14 August 2020. The rest of New Zealand has moved to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 for the same period.
A summary of New Zealand’s COVID-19 Alert Levels and their restrictions can be found at covid19.govt.nz/assets/resources/tables/COVID-19-alert-levels-summary.pdf.
As New Zealand Post is classified as a business entity providing essential services to the community, it will continue domestic and international inbound/outbound operations as was the case during the previous heightened COVID-19 alert levels in New Zealand between March and June 2020.
Various protective measures (social distancing, extra cleaning) are being implemented to ensure the safety of both customers and staff. There are various additional measures in place for the Auckland region, the location of New Zealand Post’s inbound/outbound office of exchange.
Throughout New Zealand, contactless delivery and pick up processes apply, with delivery staff capturing the name of the receiving customer, and stepping back from the door to remove the need for any physical contact.
Given the current restrictions, New Zealand Post can no longer guarantee service delivery standards (such as delivery times and other quality parameters, transmission of scanning events, quality of service link to terminal dues) applicable to UPU products, notably letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items, and is invoking force majeure in respect of any such standards, including the application of penalty payments (such as pay-for-performance) until further notice.
It will continue to monitor the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation and will actively follow the guidance and safety recommendations issued by the New Zealand Government.
The Philippine Government has extended the community quarantine in the following areas:
- The provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Metro Manila and Rizal on Luzon island have reverted to modified community quarantine from 4 to 18 August 2020;
- The province of Batangas on Luzon island, Cebu City, Lapu-lapu City and Mandaue City on Visayas island, and Zamboanga City on Mindanao island have been placed under general community quarantine until 15 August 2020; and,
- The rest of Luzon island and Visayas and Mindanao islands have been placed under modified general community quarantine until 15 August 2020.
PHLPost is continuing to transition to the “new normal” in line with government advice and plans.
All post offices remain open, while observing strict social distancing measures. Post offices in areas under modified enhanced community quarantine are conducting limited operations, with only domestic postal items being accepted, and deliveries limited to postal items containing vital communications, medicines and medical supplies, pension and loan cheques and perishable articles, along with express items. Other post offices are fully operational and can now accept and deliver domestic and international postal items.
The international mail processing centres are still operating with a skeleton workforce, but are already processing and forwarding inbound international dispatches to domestic destinations. Delays may still be expected as transport of postal items is over land within the islands, with a combination of land and sea conveyance used between islands.
Sea transport of outbound international dispatches is now back to normal, but outbound dispatches by air are subject to the availability of flights to destination countries.
The designated operator of Portugal, CTT Correios de Portugal, informs that a state of alert is in force throughout the country, with additional restrictions in some areas.
Social distancing and hygiene measures are still in place, with partial teleworking whenever possible, and work schedule adjustments which have an impact on normal inbound and outbound processing.
Inbound operational conditions remain difficult, especially at the Lisbon office of exchange. Road transportation, which is not used for inbound and outbound priority mail under normal circumstances, is still in use, under operational conditions adapted to the current situation. The unloading of bulky and palletized loads from trucks arriving at the Lisbon office of exchange may also be subject to delays.
As regards outbound operations, international transport capacity is gradually improving, but it is still confined to certain airlines only, and flight schedules are limited. Therefore, CTT Correios de Portugal is not currently able to accept letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items for destinations for which there is no transport availability. The list of available destinations is updated continuously, and is available at www.ctt.pt/transversais/alertas-envios-internacionais.
Measures to gradually resume normal operations are being implemented wherever possible but, under the current circumstances, the force majeure situation previously announced remains in force, with an impact on quality of service and on the processing and delivery of all types of mail, including outbound and inbound EMS, parcel post and letter post.
The designated operator of Rwanda, the National Postal Corporation (Iposita), informs that, following the resumption of international flights with effect from 8 August 2020, it is once again able to accept and send national and international mail.
However, lockdown measures will continue to apply in the district of Rusizi until further notice.
The designated operator of the Seychelles, Seychelles Postal Services, informs that Seychelles International Airport reopened on 1 August 2020. The previous schedule of international flights serving the Seychelles is gradually being resumed, as tourist demand slowly increases.
As a result, the inbound IMPC is now able to accept mailbags for all products, if forwarding operators are able to obtain transport capacity on direct and/or connecting flights to the Seychelles. However, as flights may still be cancelled owing to low levels of demand, the acceptance of all postal items by the outbound IMPC remains suspended until further notice.
The situation of force majeure previously declared will continue to apply until further notice, in view of the dynamic nature of the situation and particularly the increased risks arising from the reopening of the Seychelles borders.