Postal workers have been told to keep their distance when delivering parcels

19th Mar 2020

Claim

Royal Mail has instructed staff to step away from customers when making deliveries, and if necessary to sign for items on their behalf.

Conclusion

This is correct. Royal Mail confirmed that this is their policy.

Several posts have appeared on Facebook claiming that Royal Mail has given its staff a new procedure for delivering items that need to be signed for, in order to reduce the spread of the new coronavirus. The posts have been shared thousands of times.

The posts say: “We knock on the door and place parcel/items down on the door step and take a step away, when the person comes to the door we tell them the parcel is on the step then ask the name, then we sign it as C V 19, there is to be no personal contact whatsoever.”

We contacted Royal Mail, who confirmed that this is true, although “C V 19” is not the code that its staff will be using.

“Royal Mail continues to deliver a full service across all parts of the UK,” the company said in a statement. “In order to protect both our people and customers, we are temporarily not handing over our hand-held devices to customers to capture signatures. Postmen and postwomen will instead log the name of the person accepting the item, and can sign on their behalf.” 

This statement is repeated on the Royal Mail website, which adds that there is now a similar procedure for items that will not fit through the letterbox. “We will place your item at your door,” it says. “Having knocked on your door, we will then step aside to a safe distance while you retrieve your item. This will ensure your item is delivered securely rather than being left outside.”

Royal Mail also says that it has been advised by Public Health England that “people receiving parcels are not at risk of contracting the coronavirus”. We’ve written more on this subject here.

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