Coronavirus: Postal Services Information and Updates
Information about the impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus) to postal services in Northern Ireland, including the latest information about Post Office branches, Royal Mail, DPD, Yodel, Hermes, DHL and UPS.
The information on this page was last updated on 12 May 2022.
Parcel Deliveries during COVID-19: What you need to know
Post Office branches
The vast majority of Post Offices in Northern Ireland remain open for business.
Post Office Limited will follow government guidelines to ensure customers and staff are safe. Any decisions to close individual branches will be taken on a case by case basis.
Post Offices that are closed will have a notice displayed telling you where nearby branches are located.
You can check where your nearest post office is located and opening hours on the branch finder.
Social distancing and deliveries
Despite the easing of government COVID-19 rules and restrictions; parcel operators are continuing to take steps to ensure the health and safety of yourself and their delivery drivers. These steps could include measures such as parcel operators knocking on your door, leaving the parcel on the doorstep and then standing back to maintain a social distance. Or instead of asking for your signature, the delivery driver will ask for your name and record this on a handheld device.
Couriers and Parcel Delivery (eg Royal Mail and Evri)
Information about any changes to delivery services by Amazon, CollectPlus, DHL, DPD, Evri, Parcelforce, Royal Mail, UPS and Yodel.
What do I need to know about placing an order during the pandemic?
You can find up-to-date delivery times on the product detail page for each item, and in checkout. Do not use delivery addresses for buildings that may be closed due to the current provisions (e.g. schools). To check on the status of your order, please visit 'Your Orders' section on Amazon's website.
Is it safe to receive or return orders?
Yes. Amazon have taken precautions to ensure the safety of their employees and customers. Amazon have implemented proactive measures at our facilities to protect employees including increased cleaning at all facilities, maintaining social distance in our buildings, and adding distance between drivers and customers when making deliveries.
Some CollectPlus Points are temporarily closed or may not be operating as normal. You can check where your nearest CollectPlus is located and opening hours here.
CollectPlus are processing parcels as normal.
The latest information is available on the CollectPlus website.
DHL Service Updates
Business is as usual in most of DHL’s 220+ countries and territories. However, with many routes being impacted by the measures taken by local governments to curb the spread of COVID-19, please refer to this site: simplydhl.com/covid-19updates for DHL Express temporary service adjustments.
Whenever DHL are aware of a potential interruption to your deliveries, they post live service updates here with as much detail as possible.
Click here to visit DHL’s website for the latest information
DPD’s operations continue. Click here to use the check your Postcode area tool to check if parcel delivery services in your area have been affected.
DPD will no longer ask customers to sign its handheld units
Instead DPD will take a photo of the parcel at the point of delivery. For those self-isolating or unable to open their door to receive parcels, consumers can select their delivery preferences on the DPD app or leave a note on the front door DPD where to leave the parcel.
Self-isolating and expecting a DPD delivery?
Simply leave a signed note, attached to your front door, instructing the driver where your parcel should be left. He will take a photo of the signed note, along with a photo of where he has left your parcel as proof of delivery.
Check out the latest nation and international service updates on DPD Service Updates.
Click here to visit DPD’s website for the latest information.
Arrange a Safe Place
Evri is encouraging customers to choose their preferred safe place for deliveries by downloading its app and setting their preferences using My places. This will ensure all future Evri deliveries will be delivered to the same safe place.
Alternatively, parcels can be diverted to a chosen safe place at any time during the delivery process. If a safe place hasn’t been chosen but there is somewhere safe to deliver the parcel, Evri will leave it there and include a photo in the delivery notification email.
When arranging a collection of parcel for delivery you can select a safe place where you can leave the parcel for the courier to collect. If a safe place hasn’t been specified or isn’t available, the courier will knock on the door and step back to allow the customer to put the parcel on the doorstep.
Contact – free delivery
If a signature is required, their courier will knock on the door and step aside to allow the customer to answer. The courier will then take a photo of the parcel in the open doorway as proof of delivery.
Evri have added a delivery notification for customers when non-contact deliveries are made in this way. If there is no answer, Evri will attempt delivery a total of three times before returning the parcel to the sender.
Click here to visit Evri’s website for the latest information.
Parcelforce has reinstated a number of delivery service guarantees since the early days of the pandemic. However a small number of service guarantees/services remain suspended including their express 9 next day service although Parcelforce will make every effort to deliver these during the morning.
The express 24large service is currently suspended.
Parcelforce advise customers who are planning to send permitted perishable items, to be particularly aware of the current potential delays to delivery and consider this before shipping. For more information about perishable items that we cannot carry or are restricted, customersshould visit parcelforce.com/help-and-advice/sending/prohibitions-and-restrictions.
Please note that due to the current situation, Parcelforce will be temporarily suspending its loss and damage cover on all permitted perishable items sent on or after Monday 27th April 2020. Parcelforce will look to reinstate this cover as soon as possible.
Click here to visit Parcelforce’s website for the latest information.
Royal Mail’s operations continue. However, due to the exceptional high mail volumes some customers may experience a delay. Please see Royal Mail’s service updates for the latest service news.
You can also sign up to receive emails in the event of service disruption in your area.
International Service Update
Royal Mail’s service is operating normally. Royal Mail are working with airline and postal/courier partners to maintain services over borders and across the globe, however delays should be expected. The number of countries Royal Mail can access is changing daily.
Royal Mail strongly advise not to send items to destinations listed as ‘On suspension’.
Customers should check Royal Mail’s International Incident Bulletin for regular updates.
Return to regular retention periods in Customer Service Points
From Tuesday 1 September 2020 the retention period for holding items reverted to the standard 18 calendar days (21 calendar days for Custom charges).
This applies to the following:
- Items we’ve left a ‘Something for You’ card
- Items that have a ‘Surcharge to Pay’
- Items that have a ‘Customs Charge to Pay’
- Local Collect items where the parcel is addressed to the Customer Service Point or Post Office® branch
Signing for and receiving items
During the coronavirus pandemic, Royal Mail minimised contact during delivery by capturing the name of the person accepting the item, but not asking customers to sign for items. From the 1st May 2022 they are re-introducing the capture of signatures on their handheld devices.
Delivering to care homes
The Government has introduced measures to protect the most vulnerable groups, including those in residential care. These include limiting all but essential access to care homes for external contractors.
Royal Mail recognise that post is important to the elderly, particularly those away from their friends and families in care homes. Royal Mail has been delivering to a central point (e.g. reception) rather than individual addresses within care homes since March 2020.
Unable to come to the door to accept delivery
If you are unable to come to the door Royal Mail will issue a ‘Something for You’ card, advising of other ways you can arrange to get your item.
For example, by getting a friend or family member to collect the parcel from a local Royal Mail Customer Service Point.
They will need to bring along the card Royal Mail left you and a form of ID in the name of the person the item is addressed to. Full information on acceptable forms of ID can be found here.
Royal Mail has introduced a 100 day keepsafe service for small businesses. More information is available on Royal Mail Keepsafe.webpage.
Click here to visit Royal Mail’s website for the latest information.
UPS continues to operate a regular service
UPS continues to deliver worldwide, where permitted by local regulations. The majority of UPS services continue with the same expected delivery timeframes its customers have come to expect. UPS remain committed to providing timely and reliable service.
Parcels requiring a signature
While UPS' Signature Required and Adult Signature Required guidelines were temporarily adjusted, the procedure of obtaining a physical signature for applicable shipments has been reinstated as of 16 August 2021.
Reinstated Money back guarantee
The UPS Money Back Guarantee was temporarily suspended for all shipments from any origin to any destination from 26 March 2020, however UPS has now reinstated it for its European customers. Please see the reasons below for more information.
Effective 5 April 2021 the UPS Money-Back Guarantee was reinstated for the following Worldwide Express services.
Effective 1 September 2021, UPS Money Back Guarantee for Domestic Standard shipments in the UK was reinstated.
Click here to visit UPS’s website for the latest information.
Parcel that do not require a signature
For all parcels that do not require a signature and can be left in a safe place, the current safe place policy will be adhered to. Yodel’s drivers and couriers are not required to knock on a customer's door if a card has been left for the customer.
If a customer has used its Inflight 'Manage my Parcel' feature to request a safe place, the process above will be followed.
Proof of delivery required
If no safe place is available or a signature of Proof of Delivery is required, Yodel drivers and couriers will place the parcel on the customer's doorstep, ring or knock on the customer's door and then where safe to do so, retreat two metres away from the door. When the customer answers the door, they will explain that they are making a delivery and ask the customer for confirmation of their surname.
Yodel have created a new dropdown option “Delivered, Handed to Customer”. This will be selected so customers will not need to come into contact with our driver or their device
If the customer does not answer the door, Yodel will attempt to deliver to a neighbour. Yodel will follow the standard Deliver to Neighbour delivery process however Yodel will not ask for the neighbour's name but will select the “COVID-19 scan”
International Outbound Service
Yodel International outbound service continues to operate; however, Yodel are seeing some delays with countries which have restrictions in place, Yodel are continuing to work alongside our partners and will update if and when the situation changes.
Click here to visit Yodel’s website for the latest information.