This week’s bulletin contains updates about: COVID-19
Mail disruption due to Coronavirus
The Cayman Islands Postal Service informs that it is now in a position to resume limited postal operations, with operational changes in the processing of international mail.
With effect from 6 May 2020, the Cayman Islands Postal Service will be able to process inbound and outbound international mail using cargo space on Cayman Airways flight KX 2909 from Miami.
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 3 May 2020 to minimize the spread of COVID-19, the entire territory of Honduras will remain in lockdown until 17 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 17 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 Department of Posts (India Post) informs that the lockdown resulting from the COVID-19 crisis, previously announced in the country until 3 May 2020, has been extended until 17 May 2020.
India Post will, however, send essential goods and medicines for delivery at foreign destinations on a case-by-case basis, provided that cargo flights are available and the designated operator of the destination country agrees to accept and deliver the shipments by EMS.
The booking of essential goods/medicines for regular dispatches by EMS is available on a regular basis for Australia, China (People’s Rep.), Indonesia, Japan, Korea (Rep.), Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand as certain cargo flight connections are available. The list of countries will be revised according to the availability of airlines.
As previously informed, domestic mail exchange as an essential service is still taking place and essential goods and medicines are being delivered under strict regulations announced by the government. Although international passenger flight operations have been suspended, cargo flights are operational and may be used by designated operators willing to send postal mails to India. India Post’s offices of exchange and airmail units are all functional, albeit with limited staff.
Under the present circumstances, India Post cannot, however, 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 facility will continue as previously informed.
The designated operator of Liechtenstein, Liechtensteinische Post, informs that, as from 11 May 2020, it is reversing its measure of 17 March 2020 regarding the delivery of registered mail.
Registered letters and parcels will no longer be delivered in the mailbox without acknowledgement of receipt by the addressee. It will be left open to the customer, however, to decide whether he/she signs or the deliverer. With the former option, it is also possible for the customer to sign with his/her own pen on the scanner.
This will be implemented as follows:
- The postman rings the doorbell;
- If the customer is at home, the deliverer asks if he/she is allowed to sign for the customer; however, if the customer so prefers, he/she can sign with his/her own pen;
- If the customer is not at home, the item will be delivered to the relevant postal branch as usual;
- Parcels will only be deposited if a corresponding order is available.
The designated operator of the Maldives, Maldives Post, informs that the Government of the Maldives has decided to extend the sanitary measures, including the full lockdown of the Malé region, until 14 May 2020. The 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 14 May 2020;
- Suspension of international flights to and from the Maldives until 31 May 2020 (or a later date to be communicated in due course)
Access to postal outlets is subject to restrictions, and steps have been taken to minimize human contact. Maldives Post is suspending the processing of all inbound and outbound mail (letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items) until 14 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.
Mauritius Post informs that the Government of Mauritius has decided to extend the current curfew until 1 June 2020.
Therefore, the situation of force majeure declared previously is to be extended until 1 June 2020.
As a result, Mauritius Post is currently unable to meet its contractual obligations, particularly with regard to the acceptance and delivery of all types of mail (letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items).
However, with effect from 15 May 2020, the Government of Mauritius will gradually lift the confinement measures, enabling some businesses to resume operations. Mauritius Post is constantly monitoring the situation and will keep its partners informed of any changes.
Montenegro Post informs that it is again able to exchange postal items as normal. All restrictions and suspensions regarding the acceptance of inbound postal items by Montenegro therefore no longer apply.
PHLPost asks us to update other Union member countries and their designated operators on postal operations while stringent social distancing measures aimed at curtailing and eliminate the COVID-19 threat are in force throughout the Philippines:
- The Philippine Government has extended the enhanced community quarantine in the following areas until 15 May 2020:
- Luzon island:
- Metro Manila
- Pangasinan province
- Benguet province, including Baguio City
- Albay province, including Legazpi City
- Visayas island:
- Cebu province, including Cebu City
- Iloilo province, including Iloilo City
- Bacolod City
- Mindanao island:
- Davao City
The rest of Luzon island, along with Visayas and Mindanao islands, is placed under general community quarantine from 1 to 15 May 2020.
PHLPost will continue to provide limited services in order to facilitate the delivery of postal items containing cheques and medical supplies, along with other essential services during the community quarantine, as far as the strict social distancing measures imposed by the Philippine Government allow.
The international mail processing centres are still operating with a skeleton workforce in order to accept incoming international dispatches; however, incoming items will only be processed and forwarded to delivery post offices once the community quarantine in Metro Manila is lifted and/or the community quarantine exemption granted to PHLPost is extended.
Outbound international dispatches from the IMPCs remain suspended until the community quarantine in Metro Manila is lifted and/or the community quarantine exemption granted to PHLPost is extended.
Designated operators may request the processing and/or delivery of postal items containing vital communications, medicines, goods and/or perishable items, and/or pension cheques, loans and similar items. While it is anticipated that Internet connections at the homes of PHLPost customer service personnel may be intermittent, designated operators are encouraged to use e-mail to communicate such requests, as well as customer service concerns. It should, however, be noted that the Internet-based inquiry system for Post-to-Post customer service remains operational.
The designated operator of Rwanda, the National Postal Corporation (Iposita), informs that the Rwandan Government has decided to relax the measures taken to combat COVID-19.
This relaxation of the lockdown took effect on 4 May 2020; however, the capital remains segregated from the rest of the country, and contacts between the other provinces are suspended.
The prohibition of passenger flights to and from Rwanda, which came into effect on 20 March 2020, remains in force; only cargo flights are currently authorized. Iposita is receiving limited quantities of international mails on these flights. Items sent to the capital are being processed, but those for other parts of the country will not be forwarded to their final destination until the lockdown has been fully ended.
Iposita is still not accepting outbound international items.
The designated operator of Sri Lanka, the Department of Posts, informs that the force majeure situation previously declared will continue until further notice following the extension of the full curfew in four main cities and the partial curfew in a further 18 districts.
As the Department of Posts is still working with a limited workforce, and flight restrictions continue, all inbound mail operations will be subject to delays and outbound international mail operations are suspended until further notice.
The previously announced state of emergency across the country, initially due to end on 24 April 2020, has now been extended until 11 May 2020. As such, the measures announced previously continue to apply.
Despite these circumstances, Ukrposhta is maintaining its operations (with all measures taken to protect the staff and customers), accepting postal items destined for all countries and sending them using alternative routes.
The designated operator of the United Kingdom, Royal Mail Group (including Royal Mail and Parcelforce Worldwide), informs that the measures introduced by the UK Government to limit the spread of the coronavirus, which include self-isolation and social distancing, have had a significant impact on its staff. In order to ease their burden, Royal Mail Group will suspend Saturday deliveries of untracked letters and small packets, with effect from 9 May. It will continue to deliver untracked letters and small packets from Monday to Friday as normal.
Saturday deliveries will be maintained for the majority of tracked parcel services. Customers can continue to post both letters and parcels as usual on Saturdays, and Royal Mail Group will maintain Saturday collections from businesses, post offices and post boxes as normal.
For further details, please visit www.royalmail.com/d8/coronavirus-changes-service.
Zimbabwe Poss (Pvt) Ltd (Zimpost), would like to inform that the Government of Zimbabwe has downgraded the national lockdown, implemented in order to limit the spread of the coronavirus, to level 2 for a period of 14 days, effective until 17 May 2020.
In line with these lockdown measures, post office opening hours have been adjusted as follows: Monday to Friday, 8.00 to 15.00.
As partner airlines have yet to resume the conveyance of outbound international mail, Zimpost is still unable to guarantee and maintain service quality for all mail (letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items).