down-arrow icon

Coronavirus information

Sending letters and parcels


Updates to Royal Mail and Parcelforce Worldwide services

International delivery service updates


Last updated 12:00 29 December 2020.

Royal Mail and Parcelforce services to Europe have been reopened and are now fully operational and we are selling and accepting international items to the European destinations. For items posted today [29 Dec], customers should expect a delay up to 2 working days for some countries.


Parcelforce’s temporary suspension of delivery guarantees is still in place for all international services due to the Coronavirus impact.


From today [29 Dec] customers need to apply the relevant customs declaration forms to goods and gifts being sent to EU destinations. This will ensure items have correct documentation by 1 January 2021 when the EU transition period ends. This does not apply to anyone posting from branches in Northern Ireland.


Please visit or for any further updates.


UK delivery service updates


Last updated 12:00 29 December 2020.


Royal Mail have reinstated the delivery guarantee to their Special Delivery services, however, due to the ongoing coronavirus restrictions the guaranteed times are as below:


Special Delivery Guarantee by 1pm is guaranteed by 4pm.

Special Delivery Guarantee by 9am is guaranteed by 12pm.


Please visit and for any or any further updates.


Signing for and receiving items


Public Health England has advised that there is no perceived increase in risk of contracting the coronavirus from handling post or freight. From experience with other coronaviruses, these types of viruses don’t survive long on objects, such as letters, parcels or identity documents. However, it is sensible to wash your hands thoroughly after contact with anything outside of your home and to avoid touching your face.


To minimise contact during delivery, Royal Mail and Parcelforce Worldwide colleagues will not be handing over the hand-held devices to customers to capture signatures but instead log the name of the person accepting the item (Parcelforce Worldwide drivers will log the first and last name of the recipient and record the geolocation of delivery).


Where the item being delivered won’t fit through the letterbox, they will place your item at your door. Having knocked on your door, they will then step aside to a safe distance while you retrieve your item. This will ensure your item is delivered securely rather than being left outside.


Service changes

Changes to Royal Mail services
Changes to Parcelforce Worldwide services
Sending hand gels/sanitiser in the mail
Changes to Royal Mail services Changes to Parcelforce Worldwide services Sending hand gels/sanitiser in the mail
alert icon plus icon minus icon check icon

From Tuesday 1 September Royal Mail are changing the time an item is kept in Post Office branches or at their Customer Service Points, from 30 days back to 18 days before items are returned to sender.

This applies to the following:

Items where you have been left a ‘Something for You’ card A and Local Collect items where the parcel is addressed to the Post Office

alert icon plus icon minus icon check icon

Suspensions of Parcelforce Worldwide UK and international service guarantees

Parcelforce Worldwide are continuing to offer their services, however for any items posted from 18 March 2020 they have suspended their service guarantees on all services but will maintain service levels where they can.

Suspension of Parcelforce Worldwide services

Parcelforce Worldwide express9 and express10 services are currently suspended therefore Post Office branches will not be selling these services until further notice.


Parcelforce Worldwide International services

Parcelforce Worldwide are currently processing international parcels, however due to delivery delays, delivery guarantees are suspended. Details of any country or area suspensions and the latest updates are available at

The majority of our international partners are also suspending requirements for signature on delivery, and therefore a signature on delivery cannot be guaranteed either.

alert icon plus icon minus icon check icon

If you wish to send hand gels/sanitisers in the mails, please follow the guidance below:

  • There are several hand gels available, the gels that are flammable and have the GHS flammable pictogram (see right) are prohibited in the mail
  • If customers are unsure please ask them to open parcels and check for pictogram
  • There are chemical sanitisers that are not flammable which are permitted and these will not have the pictogram and are safe to send
  • These items are not governed by their alcohol content.
  • This applies to domestic and international mail (subject to country restrictions)