This week’s bulletin contains updates about: COVID-19
Mail disruption due to Coronavirus
Australia – The designated operator of Australia, Australia Post, informs other Union members that its daily operations are being affected by precautionary measures imposed by the government requiring individuals affected by COVID-19 to self-isolate, and disruption of the services offered by airlines and other transportation providers. This is having a direct impact on service quality for both international inbound and outbound mail.
Cayman Islands – the Cayman Islands Postal Service informs that it has extended the suspension of all postal operations until Monday, 4 May 2020.
The provisional resumption date of 4 May is subject to review by the Cayman Islands Government nearer the time.
Curaçao – the designated operator of Curaçao, Cpost International N.V., wishes to inform other Union member countries and their designated operators that the Government of Curaçao has extended the period of obligatory social isolation until 27 April 2020. As such, the measures announced on 7 April 2020 continue to apply.
Georgia – the designated operator of Georgia, Georgian Post, informs that the Government of Georgia has decided to extend the application of measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) until 22 May 2020.
These measures will continue to have an impact on quality and delivery processes, and delays are to be expected in relation to both inbound and outbound mail (letter-post, parcel post and EMS items). The situation of force majeure previously declared therefore remains in effect and unchanged.
Haiti – The designated operator of Haiti, Office des postes d’Haïti, informs that the Government of Haiti has implemented lockdown measures in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. As a consequence, Office des postes d’Haïti is operating under a staff rotation system, which is causing delays to the processing and delivery of inbound postal items (letter-post, parcel-post and EMS).
Office des postes d’Haïti is therefore declaring a situation of force majeure for letter-post and parcel-post noting that suspension of Pay-for-Performance penalties has been unanimously agreed by the EMS Cooperative. This is expected to last until the end of the lockdown, which is scheduled for 20 May 2020.
Honduras – the designated operator of Honduras, Empresa de Correos de Honduras (Honducor), informs that, in view of the measures adopted by the Honduran Government through an executive order of 19 April 2020 to minimize the spread of COVID-19, the entire territory of Honduras will remain in lockdown until 26 April 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 26 April 2020, or a later date to be communicated in due course. An exception may be made for humanitarian aid, which Honducor is able to process with the knowledge and prior authorization of the Honduran Government.
India – the Department of Posts (India Post) informs that the previously announced lockdown, initially due to end on 14 April 2020, has now been extended until 3 May 2020.
Although international mail exchanges remain suspended, India Post will send essential goods and medicines for delivery at foreign destinations on a case-by-case basis where cargo flights are available and where the designated operator of the destination country agrees to accept and deliver the shipments.
As notified previously, domestic mail exchanges are continuing as an essential service, and vital goods and medicines are being delivered under strict regulations announced by the government. Even though international passenger flight operations have been suspended, cargo flights are operational, and designated operators willing to send mails to India may use these. All the offices of exchange and airmail units are functional, but with limited staff.
However, under the present circumstances, India Post cannot guarantee service delivery standards (including delivery time and other quality parameters) applicable under UPU regulations and other bilateral agreements with designated operators and any interested parties. The suspension of transit facilities announced in the previous message will continue for the time being.
Japan – Japan Post would like to inform that the coronavirus pandemic has caused many countries and territories to take measures such as ceasing to accept inbound international postal items, or significantly reducing or suspending flights to and from Japan.
As a result, Japan Post is extending the list of countries and territories to which acceptance of mail is temporarily suspended owing to the coronavirus pandemic, with effect from 24 April 2020. Further details are provided on the Japan Post website at www.post.japanpost.jp/int/index_en.html.
Japan Post can no longer accept transit operations for those countries and territories indicated in the above-mentioned notice until sufficient transport capacity becomes available.
Jordan – Jordan Post Company informs that it has taken a number of steps, in line with the recommendations of the World Health Organization and local authorities, to protect the health of customers and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. A total lockdown was declared in Jordan on 18 March 2020, and the mail sorting centre and all offices were closed until 16 April 2020, when a number of main branches reopened to provide essential services.
Jordan Post’s ability to send outbound letter and parcel mail is currently limited to items for Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom only. However, service delivery standards cannot be guaranteed, and shipments may be delayed until the situation returns to normal.
EMS is available internationally to all destinations other than India.
Regarding inbound mail, all incoming items are being sanitized, and no signatures are being required for letter-post, parcel-post or EMS items.
Maldives – Maldives Post informs that the Government of the Maldives has decided to extend the sanitary measures until 3 May 2020, following the announcement of a full lockdown of the Malé region until 30 April 2020. The strengthened measures include:
- Complete restriction of movement and ban on all vehicle use, including public transport services, during the lockdown period;
- Suspension of work in all government offices until 3 May 2020;
- Suspension of international flights to and from the Maldives until 30 April 2020 (or a later date to be communicated in due course).
Access to postal outlets is subject to restrictions and steps have been made to minimize human contact. Maldives Post is suspending the processing of all inbound and outbound mail (letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items) until 3 May 2020, or a later date to be communicated in due course. Quality of service and delivery standards for all types of inbound and outbound mail fall under the already invoked case of force majeure.
Portugal – CTT Correios de Portugal informs that the Portuguese Government has extended the measures aimed at combating the spread of COVID-19 until 2 May 2020.
The service restrictions and situation of force majeure are extended until further notice.
Rwanda – the designated operator of Rwanda, the National Postal Corporation (Iposita), informs that, on 17 April 2020, the Government of Rwanda made the decision to extend the application of measures aimed at combating the spread of the corona virus (COVID-19).
The measures already implemented will remain in force until 23.59 local time on 30 April 2020.
Spain – the designated operator of Spain, Correos y Telégrafos, asks us to inform other Union member countries and their designated operators that, following some improvements in the international transport situation, it is now able to send letter-post and parcel-post items to the following destinations: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China (People’s Rep.), Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, China, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Korea (Rep.), Lithuania, Luxembourg, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America.
It is expected that further new routes will be opened for new destinations in the coming weeks, thanks to wider availability of air routes and cooperation among postal operators using closed transit and shared road transport from Central Europe.
However, at present, Correos cannot accept letter-post or parcel-post items for destinations to which there is no transport capacity.
Under these circumstances, the force majeure situation previously announced continues.
In addition, the Spanish Government has extended the state of alert declared on 14 March 2020 until 10 May 2020. This state of alert may be further extended.
This will continue to have a major impact on operations and, consequently, on quality of service for all types of inbound and outbound mail (letter post, parcel post and EMS).
Sri Lanka – owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and the directives issued by the Government of Sri Lanka temporarily suspending all international passenger flights to Colombo, and the further extension until at least 27 April 2020 of the “work from home” period in four main districts including Colombo, the Department of Posts remains in a force majeure situation. Processing and delivery of all international inbound mail will be delayed, and no more outbound airmail items (letter post, parcel post and EMS) will be accepted until sufficient transport and workforce capacity is available.
United Arab Emirates – the designated operator of the United Arab Emirates, Emirates Post, informs that the government of the United Arab Emirates has extended the state of alert until further notice, in order to reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19.
For this reason, Emirates Post cannot meet UPU performance standards and can no longer guarantee service delivery standards for EMS items, parcels and registered items applicable under UPU and associated or related bilateral and multilateral agreements. As a result, Emirates Post is invoking force majeure until further notice.
Zimbabwe – the designated operator of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Posts (Pvt) Ltd (Zimpost), informs that the government has now extended the national lockdown by a further 14 days, until 3 May 2020.
Only specified essential services can be offered by Zimpost during the extended national lockdown period, namely:
- Delivery services (letter-post, parcel-post and express items);
- Bureau de change services; and
- Money transfer services.
The following measures have also been put in place:
- Post offices are operating on weekdays with a limited workforce and for limited hours;
- Ordinary mail deliveries are taking place three times a week;
- P.O. Box deliveries are made when the post offices are open and the relevant staff available;
- Delivery of e-commerce parcels, food hampers and courier items is taking place daily from Monday to Friday at all offices;
- Mail movement between major centres is limited to three times per week. Delivery of mail to rural routes will take place once or twice a week as necessary.
Partner airlines have yet to resume the conveyance of outbound international mail. Therefore, Zimpost is still not in a position to guarantee and maintain service quality for all incoming and outgoing mail (letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items).