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Canada Post still delivering amid pandemic, but they've made a few changes

Shorter hours at post offices, no on-time delivery guarantees
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Canada Post boxes in Bradford West Gwillimbury. Jenni Dunning/BradfordToday

Canada Post continues to operate amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but has made some changes to the way it does business, including shorter post office operating hours and no on-time delivery guarantees.

“Canada Post understands the important role the postal service plays and is committed to serving Canadians while taking action to keep our people and our communities safe,” said a press release.

“To do so effectively in these challenging times, Canada Post will continue to review and quickly adapt our approach with health and safety as our primary goal.”

The following changes have been made:

Changes to retail post office network

Hours of service: In many post offices operated by Canada Post, hours of service will be reduced, opening one hour later and closing one hour earlier to clean, restock and provide some relief to employees. As well, for the first hour of each day, Canada Post will offer priority service to those whom are at a higher risk (the elderly or people with compromised immune systems). Franchise operated post offices will follow the measures put in place by franchise operators.

Canada Post is working to keep post offices open, but some may close due to building closures beyond its control and some smaller locations may close due to personnel reasons. In these cases, Canada Post will direct customers to the nearest operating post office.

Social and physical distancing: Canada Post is asking waiting customers to please space themselves two metres (six feet) apart. Canada Post is working on signage and floor decals for larger post offices. For smaller offices, Canada Post will look to limit the number of customers. Canada Post is also working on clear barriers for the counter to increase safety.

Transactions: Canada Post will continue to accept cash, but is encouraging customers to pay by using the “tap” function on their debit or credit cards where possible.

Parcel pick-up: Parcels left at the post-office for pickup will not be returned-to-sender until further notice. Canada Post has suspended its normal 15-day hold period. Canada Post asks that customers who are feeling ill or self-isolating, to please delay their visit to the post office and to pick up their parcel when it’s safe to do so. Further changes to our parcel delivery process are below.

Delivery changes 

Parcel delivery: To eliminate customer interactions at the door, reduce post office customer traffic and support social & physical distancing, Canada Post has implemented a Knock, Drop and Go approach. Delivery employees will knock or ring, choose the safest location available to leave the item and then depart for the next address. This change eliminates the need for signatures at the door and greatly reduces the number of parcels sent to our post offices for pick-up.

Items that require Proof of Age, ID or Customs payments will be sent directly from our depots to a retail post office for pick-up with no restrictions on when customers can pick up the item. Customers will receive a Delivery Notice Card in their mail letting them know which post office is holding their item for pickup.

Service guarantees: Canada Post's goal is to continue providing timely and reliable service. But to be safe, give employees time and manage potential challenges, Canada Post has suspended on On-time Delivery Guarantees for all parcel services, until further notice.

Help with social distancing

Canada Post please asks you to respect social and physical distancing with our employees who you may see out in the community. This will further support the social distancing initiatives Canada Post has implemented in its plants, depots and post offices. Like other organizations providing important services, our people are working hard under difficult circumstances.

During delivery: Please give employees space and avoid opening the door or greeting them personally when they are at the door to deliver, or filling a community mailbox.

In post offices: When in a retail post office, Canada Post asks that people please practise social distancing and the other measures that have been implemented. 

While we all support social and physical distancing efforts to keep our communities safe, social interaction from a distance is still very much appreciated by Canada Post personnel. A simple smile and wave through the window to your delivery agent, a supportive thumbs-up to the driver of the Canada Post truck as they go by or patience and a thank you to the person working at the post office all go a very long way these days.

“We thank Canadians for their patience and support during this period of significant change,” said the press release.

“We continue to follow the guidance of the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) when it comes to creating new safety measures in our plants, depots, post offices as well as in our communities.”