This week’s bulletin contains the latest information about Bhutan, Cayman Islands, China, Honduras, Hong Kong, Israel, Jamaica, Philippines, Spain.
The designated operator of Bhutan, Bhutan Post, informs that, in order to contain the local transmission of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Royal Government of Bhutan has declared a nationwide lockdown effective from 11 August 2020 until further notice. The lockdown measures include the restriction of movement of people and vehicles within the country, and everyone is required to stay at home to protect themselves and their families from the virus.
Owing to this nationwide lockdown, Bhutan Post is obliged to suspend its daily operations with regards to both domestic and international mail. This will have a direct impact on service quality for international inbound and outbound services, and severe delays are to be expected until the lockdown is lifted and normal transport capacity becomes available. As a result of the measures implemented in response to the global spread of COVID-19, Bhutan Post has declared a situation of force majeure in relation to all international letter-post, parcel-post and EMS services.
While Bhutan Post remains committed to fulfilling its postal obligations, it is also important to comply with the safety guidelines issued by the Royal Government of Bhutan in order to limit the spread of COVID-19.
The designated operator of the Cayman Islands, the Cayman Islands Postal Service, informs that the Cayman Islands Government has extended the suspension of most passenger flights until Thursday, 1 October 2020, as a continuing measure to reduce the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. With the borders still closed to most passenger flights, the Cayman Islands Postal Service is unable to guarantee compliance with quality of service or delivery standards applicable under the UPU rules for any class of inbound or outbound mail.
However, as part of a phased reopening process, a scheduled British Airways passenger flight from London Heathrow to Grand Cayman will be operating on a fortnightly basis from 17 September 2020 onwards.
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 23 August 2020 to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and protect lives, the entire territory of Honduras will remain in lockdown until 6 September 2020 (or a later date to be communicated in due course).
To minimize human contact and curb the rise in infections in order to protect its workers, Honducor has decided that it is necessary to suspend the postal service across the entire postal supply chain until 6 September 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.
Hong Kong, China
Special working arrangements for government employees have again been extended and will remain in force until further notice.
The force majeure situation previously announced therefore remains in place, affecting the processing and delivery of all types of mail, including outbound and inbound letter-post, parcel-post and EMS services, with an impact on quality of service.
The designated operator of Israel, Israel Postal Company, informs that, given the large number of people still affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the various restrictions such as physical distancing between postal employees and between postal employees and customers remain in place.
The lockdown requirements imposed by the Ministry of Health, involving temporary closures of certain areas and postal facilities, with postal workers unable to access their workplace and limited numbers of employees available in sorting centres, delivery offices and delivery points, are leading to delays in the processing and delivery of all types of mail (letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items). Israel Postal Company would like to underline the need for addressees’ mobile phone numbers to be displayed on items so that customers can be contacted by SMS to improve the delivery process.
Regarding outbound mail, although some airlines have resumed flights to and from Israel, the processing of items may still be subject to delays due to the cancellation and reduction of flights.
The designated operator of Jamaica, Jamaica Post, wishes that it is obliged to curtail its operations owing to the imposition of a national curfew from 19.00 each evening to 5.00 the following morning. This curfew, effective for an initial period from 22 August to 2 September 2020, is aimed at mitigating the resurgence of the coronavirus (COVID-19) throughout Jamaica.
As a result, working hours have been revised across the entire postal network. This will have an impact on sorting operations, mail delivery and the dispatch of mail vans, as well as the timely provision of EDI messaging updates and responses to online customer inquiries. The force majeure situation previously announced continues to apply, with an impact on quality of service for all types of mail, including inbound and outbound letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items.
The Government of the Philippines has extended the community quarantine within the Philippines until 31 August 2020:
- The following areas are placed in general community quarantine:
- Luzon island: National Capital Region and the provinces of Batangas, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Nueva Ecija, Quezon, and Rizal;
- Visayas island: Cebu City, Iloilo City, Lapu-lapu City, Mandaue City and City of Talisay, as well as the municipalities of Minglanilla and Consolacion in the province of Cebu;
- The remaining areas in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao islands are placed in modified general community quarantine.
The designated operator of Spain, S.E. Correos y Telégrafos, informs that, thanks to improvements in transport capacity and the resumption of flights to and from Spain, the list of destinations for which it is able to accept mail has been expanded. Correos is now able to send mail (letter post, parcel post and EMS) to most countries and territories with which routes are open.
However, in the absence of transport links, Correos still cannot accept letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items for the following UPU countries and territories: American Samoa, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Ascension, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, British Virgin Islands, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Caribbean part of the Netherlands, Cayman Islands, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Cook Islands, Cuba, Curaçao, Djibouti, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eswatini, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji French Guiana, French Polynesia, Gambia, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras (Rep.), Iran (Islamic Rep.), Jamaica, Jersey, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lao People’s Dem. Rep., Martinique, Mauritius, Mayotte, Monaco, Mongolia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nauru, Nepal, New Caledonia, Nicaragua, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Réunion, Saint Helena, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Sudan, State of Libya, Suriname, Syrian Arab Rep., Tajikistan, Timor-Leste (Dem. Rep.), Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tristan de Cunha, Turkmenistan, Turks and Caicos islands, Tuvalu, United States Virgin Islands, Vanuatu, Venezuela (Bolivarian Rep.), Wallis and Futuna Islands, Yemen, Zambia.
Correos does not accept letter-post or parcel-post items for destinations to which no transport capacity is available. The evolution of the health crisis in the coming months may also mean that acceptance of items for some destinations currently open will need to be suspended again.
The force majeure situation previously declared remains in force. This will continue to have a major impact on operations, with Correos unable, until further notice, to guarantee the quality of service for all types of inbound and outbound mail (letter post, parcels and EMS) and the delivery standards for items with signature under UPU regulations or bilateral or multilateral agreements signed with other designated postal operators