13 Aug 2022

Royal Mail urged to look at a 'contingency plan' for Derry after several postal workers test positive for Covid-19

Local politician says other staff are also currently self-isolating

sorting office derry

The sorting office at Great James Street in Derry.

A local politician today claimed that 'several' postal workers in Derry have tested positive for Covid-19, while others are self-isolating.

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Martina Anderson has urged Royal Mail to put into place contingency plans for services in the city.

She was speaking following being contacted by a number of members of staff at the Great James Street Sorting Office with concerns after several postal workers tested positive for Covid and others are now off work self-isolating. 

The Foyle MLA said: “Firstly I would like to send my best wishes all to the postal workers at the Derry Sorting Office affected by Covid19 and wish them all a speedy recovery. 

“We are entering what is normally a busy time of the year for the Post Office when they normally bring in temporary staff for the Christmas period.

"With several workers now off and others having to self-isolate I am calling on Royal Mail to put in place a contingency plan straight away to deal with the situation.  

“It's important that there is as little interruption to services as possible particularly during this period when people are relying on it now more than ever."

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “We send our best wishes for a speedy recovery to those colleagues who have contracted Covid-19.

"Throughout the pandemic, we have implemented contingency plans to keep delivering letters and parcels.

"Despite our best endeavours, it is possible that some areas may experience a reduction in service levels due to Coronavirus-related absences at their local mail centre or delivery office.

"We always endeavour to keep our customers as informed as we can of any changes to our services. We have a dedicated section on our website coronavirus.

“Throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, every decision we make puts the health of our people and customers first. We have put in place a range of preventive measures to protect both our customers and our colleagues. We were the first UK company to put in place social-distancing measures in relation to parcel delivery.We pioneered contact-free delivery. We are temporarily not handing over our hand-held devices to customers to capture signatures. As well as encouraging good hand hygiene, standard ways of working have been revised to ensure that colleagues maintain appropriate social distancing at all times. All staff have been briefed about the social distancing measures jointly agreed by local management and the CWU. This has been supplemented with visible reminders such as posters and one-way floor markings."

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