Canada Post is reducing its hours, installing clear barriers at post office counters and offering priority service to those at higher risk in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a news release Tuesday morning, Canada Post said the offices it operates will open an hour later and close an hour earlier to clean, restock and “provide some relief to employees.”
The first hour of opening will be dedicated to customers at higher risk, including seniors and people with compromised immune systems.
The postal service has also suspended on-time guarantees for all parcel services until further notice.
“We are working to keep our post offices open, but some may close due to building closures beyond our control and some smaller locations may close due to personnel reasons,” the release said.
This comes a day after 13 Canada Post employees were put on self-isolation after one tested positive for COVID-19 in St. John’s.
Hold period suspended
Those visiting post offices are asked not to come in if they are feeling ill. Canada Post has suspended the normal 15-day hold period and parcels left at the office for pickup will not be returned to the sender until further notice.
Those who do visit a post office are asked to keep two metres apart. Canada Post said it will install signs and floor decals in larger offices, while smaller offices will be limited to the number of customers allowed inside.
The release said offices will still accept cash, but it is asking customers to use tap on their debit and credit cards whenever possible.
Postal workers to knock, drop and go
For home delivery, Canada Post said it has implemented a knock, drop and go approach. This change eliminates the need for signatures at the door.
People are also asked to implement social distancing when interacting with postal workers in the community and to avoid approaching workers at the door or while they are filling a community mailbox.
The release said any item which requires proof of age, identification or customs payments will be sent directly to a retail post office for pickup. Customers will receive a delivery notice card in the mail and there is no restriction on when customers can pick up their item.
The release also said franchise-operated post offices will “follow the measures put in place by franchise operators.”