On Monday, Royal Mail confirmed that a number of staff working at Lincoln’s delivery office are currently self-isolating, and said there had also been outbreaks of the virus in Daventry and Northampton. Last week, seven letter carriers in Horsham contracted the virus and were unable to work, while 21 people at the Margate delivery office were forced to self-isolate after three staff fell ill.
In Ilford, the system seems to have stopped. Valérie Wallbank, a local resident, said she had received mail at her home in Hainaut since December 12.
“It’s pretty serious,” she told the Ilford Recorder. “Some people don’t mind doing everything online, but for some of us it’s pretty important. “
It is understood that as Christmas approached, up to 40 percent of the region’s postal workforce was sick or self-isolating.
Wes Streeting, the local MP, told the Telegraph that while it was understandable that Royal Mail’s performance was severely affected by the virus, the issues had ‘serious repercussions for people receiving important correspondence from the NHS, both on their vaccination and also other routine appointments. ”
He said: ‘I’ve been told locally that Royal Mail is prioritizing parcel delivery to reduce the backlog, but I’m wondering if there is a way for NHS correspondence to be clearly labeled as such and prioritized for delivery. No one wants to see a situation where people miss their immunization appointments. ”