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The post office is an essential business for many who need to send letters and parcels across the nation and internationally. There are nearly 11,500 post offices in the UK, collecting and distributing packages, selling cards, envelopes and other stationery, and often located within shops such as WH Smith or Co-op. Are post offices open during the lockdown in 2021?
The third lockdown of the year is in play and is expected to last until at least February.
Certain businesses such as non-essential retail and restaurants have been forced to close.
Post offices have previously remained open, but does the new lockdown mean they are now closed?
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Are post offices open during lockdown 2021?
Gov.UK clearly states a list of businesses and venues which can remain open during lockdown, and the post office is one of them.
The full list is as follows:
- essential retail such as food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres, building merchants and suppliers of building products and off-licences
- market stalls selling essential retail may also stay open
- businesses providing repair services may also stay open, where they primarily offer repair services
- petrol stations, automatic (but not manual) car washes, vehicle repair garages and MOT services, bicycle shops, and taxi and vehicle hire businesses
- banks, building societies, post offices, short-term loan providers and money transfer businesses
- funeral directors
- laundrettes and dry cleaners
- medical and dental services
- vets and retailers of products and food for the upkeep and welfare of animals
- animal rescue centres, boarding facilities and animal groomers (may continue to be used for animal welfare, rather than aesthetic purposes)
- agricultural supplies shops
- mobility and disability support shops
- storage and distribution facilities
- car parks, public toilets and motorway service areas
- outdoor playgrounds
- outdoor parts of botanical gardens and heritage sites for exercise
- places of worship
- crematoriums and burial grounds
The official Post Office website confirms that post offices will be staying open for the third lockdown, saying: “Coronavirus continues to challenge how we’re all living our lives right now, not least as we adjust to a further national lockdown to help get the pandemic under control.
“Throughout it all, Post Office has been there for communities across the UK.
“As an essential service our postmasters and support teams have worked tirelessly to keep open and trading in over 90 percent of our network locations.”
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Although 4,000 of the Post Offices are open seven days a week, the Post Office advises customers to check the opening times before paying a visit.
The website says: “Our advice is to check our branch finder to see branch opening times before you visit, and try to come in at quieter times.”
The site goes on to explain that branch opening times can change at short notice, due to a “deep clean” or “staff shortages”.
While at the post office, you’ll need to follow the social distancing rules.
The site explains: “To help you follow the government’s guidance on social distancing, we’re using floor markers to ensure customers queue at a 2-metre distance.
“We’re also making access simpler for customers with differing needs. At our standalone Post Office locations, the first hour of every day is for elderly or vulnerable customers and those working in NHS or care services.”
Make sure you wear a mask and put your parcels or letters on the counter rather than handing them to the staff.
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