Coronavirus: UK Royal Mail deliveries affected by travel bans resulting from new virus strain discovery
The British Royal Mail says it is halting deliveries to most of Europe and is suspending special delivery guarantees for some items as countries across the world are closing their borders to the UK because of the new strain of the coronavirus.
The Royal Mail said on Monday that it was temporarily suspending mail services to Europe, except for the Republic of Ireland due to restrictions in air, road, ferry and train movements from the UK.
Some changes to special delivery guarantees were also being made.
"In light of the changing coronavirus restrictions announced on Saturday 19th December 2020, we have made the difficult decision to make the following changes to our timed guarantees for our Special Delivery by 9 am and 1 pm services: for Special Delivery Guaranteed by 9.00 am and Special Delivery Guaranteed by 1.00 pm items posted on Wednesday 23rd December we are suspending our delivery guarantee," the Royal Mail said.
Meanwhile, the Washington Post reported on Monday that the US Postal Service was also expecting delays in deliveries amid a shortage of personnel and an influx of packages resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.
On Saturday, UK health officials announced that the country had identified a new variant of the coronavirus that is 70 per cent more transmissible than other Sars-Cov-2 virus strains.
Although the new coronavirus variant is said to infect more easily, it does not appear to be more deadly or pose any concerns for vaccines.
The UK government practically locked down parts of the country, including London, after admitting that more than half of all new COVID-19 cases had been caused by the new strain.
Many countries have suspended passenger travel to and from the United Kingdom in a bid to prevent the import of the new virus strain.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has advised countries to independently assess the risk of spillover of the new strain of coronavirus and make decisions on whether to suspend air traffic, WHO representative to Russia, Melita Vujnovic said on Monday.
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