This week’s bulletin contains updates about: COVID-19
Mail disruption due to Coronavirus
The Government of Azerbaijan has taken a series of measures, effective from 29 March 2020 until 15 June 2020, to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
These measures include the cancellation of all international and domestic passenger flights. Given the resulting lack of transport capacity, Azerpost has declared a situation of force majeure with effect from 29 March 2020.
However, Azerpost is still sending outbound mail dispatches to the following countries via air cargo and charter flights:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria (Rep.), China (People’s Rep.), Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Hong Kong (China), Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea (Rep.), Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom and United States of America.
Azerpost continues to receive inbound and transit mail dispatches via air cargo, charter flights and other means, and is delivering inbound mail as usual.
The designated operator of Burkina Faso, La Poste BF, informs that, owing to government measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 and the declaration of a case of force majeure, the processing and delivery of mail is subject to delays, which will affect quality of service.
Some of the restrictions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have been lifted and the situation is gradually returning to normal.
For outbound mail, owing to the cancellation and postponement of flights, the processing of outbound items may be subject to significant delays. Acceptance of mail for some countries is still temporarily suspended because of the transport situation and continuing lockdown in destination countries.
As regards inbound and domestic mail, Česká Pošta is still required to maintain social distancing rules among staff and between staff and customers, and delays may still occur in the processing and delivery of all types of letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items.
In view of the above, the restrictions set out in previous service updates regarding service standards and application of force majeure remain in place.
On 1 June 2020, the French Government issued decree No. 2020-663 of 31 May 2020, setting out the general measures necessary to combat the COVID-19 pandemic as part of the state of health emergency in place until 10 July.
Social contact will be subject to restrictions until 10 July.
The confinement measures are still being lifted gradually in Paris (75) and the surrounding area (departments 77, 78, 91, 92, 93, 94 and 95), where the main mail processing sites, including international and airport mail centres, are located. The French overseas departments of Guiana (973) and Mayotte (976) are also still subject to strict measures.
La Poste is still required to ensure that its staff comply with social distancing measures, both among themselves and when dealing with customers. It must also take into account staff absences, owing to the fact that schools have reopened on a very limited basis. La Poste is making every effort to ensure the delivery of letter post and to resume the delivery of priority items, parcels, daily newspapers and registered letters, as well as collections from post boxes, six days out of seven, from Monday to Saturday. However, this resumption remains gradual and delivery times cannot yet be guaranteed.
The confinement measures in place for certain categories of staff throughout France, and in particular in the areas mentioned above, prevent compliance with delivery times and collection of the addressee’s signature, and may thus result in processing and delivery delays throughout the country.
Accordingly, the restrictions set out in previous service updates regarding service standards continue to apply and the situation of force majeure remains in force.
The Honduran Government through an executive order of 31 May 2020 to minimize the spread of COVID-19, the entire territory of Honduras will remain in lockdown until 7 June 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 7 June 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 designated operator of Israel, Israel Postal Company, informs that some of the restrictions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have been lifted and the situation is returning to normal.
Regarding outbound mail, owing to the cancellation and postponement of flights, the processing of outbound items may be subject to significant delays.
As regards inbound and domestic mail, Israel Postal Company is still required to maintain social distancing rules among staff and between staff and customers. Consequently, the restrictions set out previously regarding addressee signature, service standards and application of force majeure remain in place.
In view of the above, delays may still occur in the treatment and delivery of all types of letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items.
The designated operator of the Maldives, Maldives Post, informs that the Government of the Maldives has decided to extend the sanitary measures, including the lockdown of the Malé region, until 13 June 2020.
The latest developments include:
- Easing of movement within the Malé region from 28 May onwards;
- Partially reopening of government institutions from 31 May to 11 June to provide essential services;
- Continuation of suspension of international flights to and from the Maldives until 30 June (or a later date to be communicated in due course).
Access to postal outlets remains subject to restrictions, and measures to minimize human contact remain in force.
Outbound mail items (letter post, parcel post and EMS)
Owing to the suspension and cancellation of almost all flights to and from the Maldives, severe delays for all outbound airmail are to be expected until sufficient transport capacity becomes available. Maldives Post is therefore not accepting international letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items for any destination until the situation returns to normal.
Inbound mail items (letter post, parcel-post and EMS)
Since 3 June 2020, and until further notice, the international mail processing centre has been operating with a skeleton workforce to process incoming international dispatches. This means that Maldives Post is still unable to guarantee quality of service and delivery standards for letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items, and the case of force majeure already invoked remains in force. The disruption is expected to continue until the epidemic is over.
Signature on delivery is suspended for all letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items. However, tracked confirmation of deliveries will be provided via the usual tracking event scans for products that allow tracking.
The designated operator of Liechtenstein, Liechtensteinische Post, informs that the COVID‑19 situation in Liechtenstein has now improved sufficiently for postal services to again be provided as normal. Mails for Liechtenstein can be sent as direct dispatches or in open or closed transit via Switzerland or Austria.
The designated operator of Mauritius, Mauritius Post Ltd, wishes to inform that the sanitary curfew imposed by the Government of Mauritius due to COVID-19 was lifted at midnight on Saturday, 30 May 2020. Most economic activities have now resumed, but with some restrictions.
All postal activities are operational, but the government’s health directives are being strictly observed.
Owing to the cancellation and suspension of flights, outbound mails will remain subject to delays. Mauritius Post is currently unable to send letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items to a number of countries. Therefore, the force majeure situation is being extended until further notice.
However, Mauritius Post is using capacity on special passenger flights to send mails to France twice a week.
The designated operator of Myanmar, Myanmar Post, informs that the suspension of all passenger flights to and from Yangon International Airport has been extended until 15 June 2020.
Consequently, the restrictions set out in the above-mentioned service alerts regarding the processing of international outbound and inbound items (letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items), including delivery, remain in place.
The Government of Nepal has further extended the lockdown until 14 June 2020. This, together with the suspension of all incoming international flights until 30 June 2020, is affecting all postal operations.
The designated operator of Panama (Rep.), Correos de Panamá, informs that, owing to the suspension of transport operations by airlines as part of measures to limit the spread of COVID-19, it is currently unable to send or receive any category of mail (letter post, parcel post and EMS) to or from any country.
This situation will also affect à découvert and closed mail transit services.
The designated operator of Suriname, Suriname Postal Corporation (SURPOST), informs other Union member countries and their designated operators that, owing to a significant rise in the number of COVID-19 infections, the government has stepped up the partial lockdown, and is considering further stringent measures.
To protect its staff and customers, SURPOST has suspended all services across the entire postal chain until further notice. All designated operators are therefore advised not to send mails to Suriname for the time being; otherwise, the mails will need to be stored in customs warehouses, generating significant extra cost.
The Government of Tonga has allowed one flight per week from New Zealand for the past month.
Tonga Post is able to receive and send mail via this flight, but delays are still to be expected. Precautionary measures are still in place for incoming mail and service delivery standards cannot be guaranteed.
Tonga Post is fully committed to continuing to provide postal services insofar as possible.