Post to mainland Europe, Turkey and Canada halted amid mutant COVID-19 scare

Lucy Harley-McKeown
·2 min read
BRISTOL, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 02: A close-up of a Royal Mail sign at a sorting office in Filton on July 02, 2020 in Bristol, United Kingdom. Many UK businesses are announcing job losses due to the effects of the Coronavirus Pandemic and Lockdown. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)
A close-up of a Royal Mail sign at a sorting office in Filton on July 02, 2020 in Bristol, United Kingdom. Many UK businesses are announcing job losses due to the effects of the Coronavirus Pandemic and Lockdown. Photo: Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

Post has been delayed to mainland Europe, Turkey and Canada as countries continue to grapple with the best course of action for stemming the spread of the mutated COVID-19 strain which originated in the UK.

The Royal Mail (RMG.L) suspended the delivery of parcels and letters to those nations, while Germany’s postal service, Deutsche Post stopped services to Britain and Ireland.

It said on its website: “This is a fast-moving situation and we are monitoring things on an hourly basis. We are working to keep as many international mail services running as possible given the current restrictions around air, road, ferry and train movements from the UK.”

“We are keeping the situation under close and constant review.”

It listed a wide-ranging set of countries to avoid posting parcels and letters to. Post to the Republic of Ireland has not been affected.

A Times journalist posted on Twitter that he wasn’t able to buy stamps for France in his local post office due to a “directive from head office.”

The situation for lorries and freight in the UK, which are piling up in Kent, is worsening by the hour. Travel bans are making it increasingly difficult for deliveries to be made both into and out of the UK.

Hauliers in the UK are still being told to avoid Kent ports, while firms are warning food supplies are being “spoiled” with lorries stuck in Kent and beyond. The UK government said around 1,500 vehicles were stuck in the county, but business chiefs said 4,000 or more vehicles would be affected across the UK.

READ MORE: UK food prices may rise post-Brexit amid government plans to restrict EU workers

Negotiations are ongoing in an attempt to end France’s blockade of the UK, with the French government under pressure after the European Union (EU) warned against blanket travel and trade bans.

Home secretary Priti Patel said on Tuesday talks with the French government were ongoing, with officials looking at a mass testing of drivers to resolve the crisis. A French government source said a “solution” would be announced on Tuesday.

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