Postal services in Bury St Edmunds hit by Covid-19
- Credit: Archant
Bury St Edmunds is one of 28 areas in the country suffering from limited Royal Mail delivery services due to high numbers of staff being affected by Covid-19.
Bury and a number of surrounding towns and villages - postcodes IP28 to IP33 - are no longer receiving regular post because of the high numbers of Royal Mail staff who are either sick or self-isolating.
The company has published a list of affected areas, comprising of 27 zones in England and one in Northern Ireland, which also includes the Chelmsford postcodes CM1 to CM3 in Essex.
Last week, Royal Mail said four members of staff at the Bury St Edmunds delivery office had tested positive for coronavirus and a number of others were self-isolating.
The company was responding to claims made on social media that around 70 posties were currently off work due to the virus.
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It also said that its Skyliner Way base had received a deep clean following the positive tests.
Following the news of the affected areas, concerns have been raised that elderly residents will not receive notifications of when a coronavirus vaccination is available to them.
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The issue has prompted calls, including from MPs and the Communication Workers Union (CWU), for postal workers to be added to the priority list of people receiving coronavirus vaccinations.
In a statement published with the list on its website, Royal Mail said it was "working hard to deliver the most comprehensive and high quality service we can to all our customers" despite the pandemic and the associated rise in pressure on delivery resources due to increased online shopping.
"The combination of greatly increased uptake of online shopping, and the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, mean that all delivery companies are experiencing exceptionally high volumes," the statement said.
"Every single parcel and letter is important to us. Despite our best efforts and significant investment in extra resource, some customers may experience slightly longer delivery timescales than our usual service standards.
"This is due to the exceptionally high volumes we are seeing, exacerbated by the coronavirus-related measures we have put in place in local mail centres and delivery offices to keep our people and customers safe. In such cases, we always work hard to get back to providing our usual level of service as quickly as we can."
The full UK list is as follows:
Barnsley (S70, S71, S72 and S75)
Bury St Edmunds (IP28-IP33)
Horsham (RH12, RH13)
Leeds City (LS1-LS5)
Magherafelt (BT45, BT46)
South Ockendon (RM15)
South Woodford (E18)
Upper Holloway (N7)