Royal Mail has scrapped Saturday letter deliveries until further notice due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The postal service said it will “temporarily” halt the deliveries on Saturdays from this weekend.

It said it will continue to provide its letter delivery service from Monday to Friday as normal and said customers “should continue to post both letters and parcels as usual on Saturday”.

Royal Mail will continue to collect all mail from businesses, post offices and post boxes, it said.

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Shane O’Riordain, managing director of marketing, regulation and corporate affairs at Royal Mail, said: “Our postmen and postwomen are working very hard across the UK in challenging conditions.

“As we said at the start of the coronavirus crisis, there will be some disruption to services.

“We understand the importance of the postal service in keeping the UK connected at this time.

Royal Mail said it continue to collect all mail from businesses, post offices and post boxes despite stopping Saturday deliveries. Picture: AP Photo/Kirsty WigglesworthRoyal Mail said it continue to collect all mail from businesses, post offices and post boxes despite stopping Saturday deliveries. Picture: AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth

“We have also listened to our hard-working colleagues who have asked us to ease the additional burden on them if possible. As a result, we are making some temporary changes to postal services.”

Royal Mail said it has been in dialogue with the Government and regulator Ofcom throughout the crisis and will keep the temporary change to postal arrangements under review.

The move was criticised by the Communication Workers’ Union (CWU), which represents postal workers.

Norwich Royal Mail sorting office staff processing letters.
 Picture: Anthony KellyNorwich Royal Mail sorting office staff processing letters. Picture: Anthony Kelly

A CWU spokesman said: “We will be seeking urgent discussions with the Government on this issue.

“The reduction of the Universal Service Obligation was a key factor in our live national strike ballot.

“The last thing we want to do is call strike action at this point but we will not sit back and see our members’ jobs put at threat and the service to the public worsened.”

Last month the union called for households’ deliveries to be cut to three days a week due to coronavirus.

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Royal Mail had already changed the opening times of its customer services points in local delivery offices.

Larger locations, including Roundtree Way in Norwich, are now open between 7am-11am. Smaller offices are open between 7am-9am. However all closed on Wednesday and Sunday.

The company said to support the government’s advice to stay at home and avoid non-essential journeys, it urged customers to only visit where absolutely necessary.

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