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Royal Mail warns of delivery delays across 10 areas as workforce hit by Covid-19 absences - here's the full list of postcodes affected

Royal Mail has warned that households in 10 areas of England, including Blackpool and Worthing, could face delays to to both parcel and letter deliveries as staff members have been forced to self-isolate due to Covid-19. Here's what you need to know and what you can do if you're facing delays.

The postal service says it will aim to make deliveries at least every other day in the 10 affected areas but adds that this may not always be possible in offices temporarily affected by very high levels of absence. Usually, Royal Mail aims to deliver six days a week.

See our Cheap Parcel Delivery Tips for sending via Royal Mail, discount web couriers and online retailers. 

Ten areas affected by delayed deliveries 

Below are the 10 areas that may currently be experiencing delayed deliveries and their associated postcodes. You can also use Royal Mail's service update tool, which is updated daily, to check if your area is impacted.  

  • Blackpool (FY1, FY2, FY3, FY4, FY5, FY6)
  • Bristol South East (BS4, BS14)
  • Chorley (PR6)
  • Enfield (EN1, EN2, EN3)
  • Middleton (M24)
  • Newton Abbot (TQ12, TQ13)
  • Plympton (PL7)
  • Rochdale (OL11, OL12, OL13, OL14, OL15, OL16)
  • Southport (PR8)
  • Worthing (BN11, BN12, BN13, BN14)

What to do if your delivery is delayed

If you have any concerns about your post being delayed, you can contact Royal Mail's customer services team. However, it is unlikely this will speed up deliveries until staffing issues are resolved.

While there are no guarantees, you can also submit a compensation form via the Royal Mail website, which covers you when your post is lost, damaged, or delayed. You need to make sure you have the full details of the sender and recipient, the Royal Mail service used (e.g. 1st Class, Royal Mail Signed For, International Standard etc.), the date and location of posting, the proof of postage and (where relevant) proof of value/cost price.

It's also worth trying the following:

  • If you're waiting for a parcel that's been delayed, contact the retailer. Remember, even though it's Royal Mail delivering your parcel, it's the retailer's responsibility to make sure it arrives. Under the Consumer Contracts Regulations, you are entitled to a refund if your parcel arrives later than promised. If you ordered online or over the phone, you also have the right to cancel within 14 calendar days and get a full refund, though you may need to pay return delivery costs. You may also be entitled to compensation if you had to take time off for a rearranged delivery. See our Delivery Rights guide for more on your rights.
  • Try ordering to a different address or avoiding delivery via Royal Mail. If you can secure delivery to a postcode that isn't affected, say to a family member or friend, it might be quicker to do so. Similarly, if you have the option to avoid using Royal Mail, and can opt for a different courier, this may also be a faster option.
  • If you're receiving a bill by post and you're worried about late payment, contact your service provider. Discuss your options - you may be able to pay the bill online or over the phone. Similarly, if you're expecting important documents through the post, it might be worth checking if you can receive them via email instead.

What does Royal Mail say?

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “The health and safety of our colleagues and our customers is our number one priority. In a limited number of areas, we are experiencing some disruption to service due to COVID related absences. In impacted areas, we are focused on providing as comprehensive a service as possible to our customers.”

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