This week’s bulletin contains updates about: COVID-19
Mail disruption due to Coronavirus
The government ended the national lockdown on 20 May 2020 and reopened the economy, with extensive precautions designed to control the spread of COVID-19.
Delivery post offices have now reopened for full operations from Monday to Saturday.
Most partner airlines have not yet resumed the conveyance of outbound international mail, but BotswanaPost is accepting inbound mail and delivering it in compliance with government-mandated measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, owing to limited capacity, BotswanaPost is still not able to guarantee delivery standards. The force majeure situation previously announced therefore continues until further notice.
The government has decided that international passenger flights are to remain suspended until 1 September 2020 (date subject to review nearer the time).
While this suspension remains in place, the Cayman Islands Postal Service will operate only limited international services.
Designated operators can once again dispatch letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items via available airlines.
All Cpost International personnel have resumed work and all retail counter services are available again, with the exception of proof of delivery (POD), which will not be provided until further notice. Signatures will no longer be requested for any deliveries.
The designated operator of Fiji, Post Fiji Ltd, informs that the suspension of international flights to and from Fiji ended as of 22 May 2020.
All postal services are therefore back to normal, although the country has not yet been declared free of COVID-19.
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 24 May 2020 to minimize the spread of COVID-19, the entire territory of Honduras will remain in lockdown until 31 May 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 31 May 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.
The lockdown in the country has been extended till 31 May 2020, though with certain relaxations.
However, given the availability of certain cargo and evacuation flights, outbound EMS and international tracked packet (APP ePacket) services have resumed.
As notified previously, limited domestic mail exchanges have been continuing in order to provide essential services. Although regular international passenger flights remain suspended, designated operators willing to send postal mail to India using special flights may do so if they notify the relevant office of exchange in advance.
All offices of exchange and airmail units are functional; however, owing to the lockdown situation, India Post cannot still guarantee service delivery standards (including delivery time and other quality parameters).
The designated operator of Moldova, S.E. “Posta Moldovei”, informs that a public health emergency has been declared from 16 May to 30 June 2020.
Chisinau International Airport is still closed for regular commercial flights. However, charter flights are operating to various European destinations. Information on upcoming flights is announced on the website of the Moldovan Civil Aviation Authority at www.caa.md/eng/news.
As far as surface transport is concerned, two options for mail exchanges have been identified:
- Ukrposhta trucks on the Odessa – Chisinau – Odessa route, operating once a week on Wednesdays, for the following destinations: Austria, Belarus, Poland, the Russian Federation, Turkey and Ukraine;
- Poșta Română trucks on the Bucharest – Chisinau – Bucharest route (frequency depends on volume of mail accumulated), for Bulgaria (Rep.), Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Turkey.
The list of destinations will be updated as and when other operators announce their availability.
Poșta Moldovei is therefore again able to accept international mail for Austria, Belarus, Bulgaria (Rep.), Greece, Hungary, North Macedonia, Poland, the Russian Federation, Romania, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine. In addition, it will use charter flights to dispatch mail to France, Ireland and Israel.
Postal customers in Moldova are being informed that delays are to be expected and proof of delivery will not be provided by countries that have suspended this service and declared a force majeure situation.
The designated operator of Myanmar, Myanmar Post, informs that the Government of Myanmar has imposed national measures to combat the spread of COVID-19. These include the suspension of all passenger flights to and from Yangon International Airport until 31 May 2020.
Given this situation, Myanmar Post is unable to provide outbound mail services (letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items) to international destinations and is therefore ceasing, with immediate effect, to accept outbound letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items until passenger flights resume at Yangon Airport.
However, domestic operations, including mail delivery, are still functioning under modified conditions, and Myanmar Post asks all Union member countries, insofar as is possible, to continue sending their mail dispatches to Myanmar via cargo flights.
The designated operator of the Philippines, PHLPost, informs that the Government has extended the community quarantine until 31 May 2020 as follows:
- Cebu City and Mandaue City (Visayas island) are now under enhanced community quarantine;
- Metro Manila and Laguna province (Luzon island) remain under modified community quarantine; and
- The rest of Luzon and Visayas islands as well as all the Mindanao islands are still under general community quarantine.
All post offices are now opening with limited or full operations, depending on the level of quarantine, while observing strict social distancing measures. Post offices on full operations can accept and deliver domestic and international postal items, while those on limited operations are working to facilitate the delivery of postal items containing cheques and medical supplies only.
The international mail processing centres are still operating with a skeleton workforce and are processing and forwarding inbound international dispatches to domestic destinations. Delays are still expected, with postal items being transported over land within the islands, and by a combination of land and sea between islands.
Sea transport of outbound international dispatches is back to normal, but outbound air dispatches are dependent on the availability of flights to destination countries.
The Government of Slovenia has maintained the measures aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus, pending a review on 31 May 2020.
Postal services are now returning to normal. The sending of outbound mail (letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items) will resume gradually, depending on the availability of flights and transport capacity. All postal items will continue to be delivered in line with national health guidelines. Registered letters, parcels and EMS items will be delivered and a signature collected whilst respecting social distancing measures.
Correos would like to inform other Union member countries and their designated operators that, although owing to the lack of transport capacity due to the suspension of flights from and to Spain, the situation of the international transport has been improved and some destinations whose acceptance was closed has been again reopen. Therefore, Correos is currently able to send mail (letter-post, parcel-post), parcels and EMS to the following destinations: ARGENTINA, LATVIA, ARMENIA, LESOTHO, AUSTRIA, LITHUANIA, BELARUS, LUXEMBOURG, BELGIUM, MACAO, BRAZIL, MALAYSIA, BULGARIA, MEXICO, CANADA, MOROCCO, CHINA, NAMIBIA, COLOMBIA
NETHERLANDS, CONGO, NIGER, COSTA RICA, NIGERIA, CROATIA, NORTH MACEDONIA, CYPRUS, NORWAY, CZECH REPUBLIC, PAKISTAN, DENMARK, PANAMA, EQUATORIAL GUINEA, POLAND, ESTONIA, PORTUGAL, ETHIOPIA, ROMANIA, FINLAND, RUSSIA, FRANCE, SAUDI ARABIA, GABON,SENEGAL, GEORGIA, SERBIA, GERMANY, SLOVAKIA, GHANA, SLOVENIA, GREECE, SOUTH AFRICA, HONG KONG, SOUTH KOREA, HUNGARY, SRI LANKA, ICELAND, SUDAN, INDIA, SWEDEN, INDONESIA, SWITZERLAND, IRELAND, TANZANIA, ISRAEL, TOGO, ITALY, TURKEY, JAPAN, UKRAINE, JORDAN, UNITED KINGDOM, KAZAKHSTAN, UNITED STATES, KENYA, ZIMBABWE.
It is expected an improvement of the mail routes in June, due to the availability of flight charters by the main airline companies operating in Spain. Nevertheless, a normality for flights might be expected somehow at the end of the month of June, so Correos will no longer accept letter-post and parcel-post items for those destinations to which transport capacities are unavailable.
Under this circumstances, Correos keeps the cease to accept letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items destined to all concerned member countries, until sufficient transport capacity becomes available.
Moreover, we kindly remind that the Spanish Government has extended the Status of Alert declared last Saturday, March 14th, 2020 until 7 June, 2020 in order to reduce the risk of the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). However the Status of Alert may be extended for an uncertain period of time.
This will have a major impact on operations and, consequently, Correos will be unable to ensure, until new advice, the quality of service for all types of inbound and outbound mail (letter post, parcels and EMS) and the delivery standards for items under signature under the UPU Regulation, as well as the bilateral or multilateral agrees signed with other designated postal operators.
Moreover, Correos do hereby also inform that, due to the high increase of road transportation and the operational conditions imposed by the current COVID-19 crisis, the Madrid-Barajas OE is not able to proceed to the unloading of trucks arriving at this Office with bulky load and non-palletized. Therefore, from the 1st of June 2020, those trucks whose load will be under the above mentioned circumstances shall not be accepted.
In parallel, Correos is already working on its de-escalation plan to come back gradually to normal within the following weeks.
The designated operator of Tajikistan, Tajik Post, informs that the Government of Tajikistan has implemented a series of measures, effective from 20 March 2020 until 31 May 2020, to reduce the risk of the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
These measures include the cancellation of all international flights. As this results in a lack of transport capacity, Tajik Post has declared a situation of force majeure, with effect from 20 March 2020, and the shipment of all categories of outbound and transit mail is suspended until further notice.
Nevertheless, Tajik Post asks all Union member countries to continue sending their mail dispatches to Tajikistan via air cargo and charter flights, or by any other means of transport that remains possible. Inbound mail to Tajikistan will continue to be delivered as usual.
The government has extended the level-2 national lockdown indefinitely in order to control the spread of the coronavirus. Lockdown reviews will be carried out every two weeks.
Post office opening times have been extended slightly: they will now be open from 8.00 to 16.30, Monday to Friday.
Although some partner airlines have yet to resume the conveyance of outbound international mail, Zimpost is accepting incoming mail and delivering it in compliance with government-mandated measures intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19.