Some people in affected areas have not received a full postal service for more than a month (Image: Getty Images)
Get our daily coronavirus email newsletter with all the news you need to know direct to your inbox
Sign upWhen you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters. Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer. OurPrivacy Noticeexplains more about how we use your data, and your rights. You can unsubscribe at any time.Thank you for subscribingWe have more newslettersShow meSee ourprivacy noticeInvalid Email
The Royal Mail has published a list of areas currently not receiving post as they battle the spread of coronavirus amongst staff.
The zones – comprising 27 in England and one in Northern Ireland – are no longer receiving regular post because of the high numbers of Royal Mail staff who are either off sick or self-isolating.
The affected areas include 13 in or near London, while others include Leeds in West Yorkshire, Chelmsford in Essex, Widnes in Cheshire and Margate in Kent.
With some affected residents complaining of not having had mail delivered for more than a month, fears have also arisen that elderly residents will not receive notifications of when a coronavirus vaccine is available to them.
Valerie Wallbank from Hainault in north-east London told the Ilford Recorder she had not received any mail since December 12.
Ilford has been listed as an area struggling to receive post
(Image: Phil Harris)
Matt Hancock promises 'great British summer' thanks to mass vaccination programme
NHS under pressure to offer Covid vaccines 24 hours a day to meet 'ambitious' target
"It's quite serious," she told the paper. "Some people are not bothered because they do everything online but for some of us it's quite important."
The issue has prompted calls, including from MPs and the Communication Workers Union (CWU), for postal workers to be added to the priority list of people receiving coronavirus vaccinations.
In a statement published with the list on its website, Royal Mail said it was "working hard to deliver the most comprehensive and high quality service we can to all our customers" despite the pandemic and the associated rise in pressure on delivery resources due to increased online shopping.
A total of 28 areas have been listed across the UK as struggling to receive post
Woman arrested for 'sitting on bench' denies police claims she 'staged' the video
"The combination of greatly increased uptake of online shopping, and the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, mean that all delivery companies are experiencing exceptionally high volumes," the statement said.
"Every single parcel and letter is important to us. Despite our best efforts and significant investment in extra resource, some customers may experience slightly longer delivery timescales than our usual service standards.
"This is due to the exceptionally high volumes we are seeing, exacerbated by the coronavirus-related measures we have put in place in local mail centres and delivery offices to keep our people and customers safe. In such cases, we always work hard to get back to providing our usual level of service as quickly as we can."
Affected areas are:
Barnsley (S70, S71, S72 and S75)
Bury St Edmunds (IP28-IP33)
Horsham (RH12, RH13)
Leeds City (LS1-LS5)
Magherafelt (BT45, BT46)
South Ockendon (RM15)
South Woodford (E18)
Upper Holloway (N7)