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An Post asks people to include letterbox, doorbell and door handles in 'regular cleaning and disinfecting routine'

CEO David McRedmond, meanwhile, said the company has been ‘scouring everywhere’ for a supply of hand sanitiser.

A post box in Dublin city.
A post box in Dublin city.
Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Updated Mar 18th 2020, 10:10 PM

AN POST HAS asked households and businesses to include their letterbox, doorbell and exterior door handle in their “regular cleaning and disinfecting routine” in the interest of “everyone’s health and safety”.

This evening, the company outlined a number of measures it would be taking to help ensure the health and safety of customers and staff while keeping services running.

It comes after the CEO of An Post David McRedmond said this morning that postmen and postwomen should be able to avail of hand sanitiser from today after the company received a delivery yesterday.

Measures

In post offices, customers affected by Covid-19 may appoint a “temporary agent” to act on their behalf. Forms can be filled out in advance for this. The forms can be found in post offices or online here.

Post offices have introduced social distancing and other measures, while staff will capture customer details directly to avoid the need for customers to handle counter equipment such as signing pads and pens.

Display boards, floor signs and staff will all remind customers to remain apart from each other while in the post office.

When it comes to delivery, An Post said it will endeavour to maintain collection and delivery services for “as long as possible”. 

“In the interest of everyone’s health and safety, we ask that householders and businesses include their letterbox, doorbell and exterior door handles in their regular cleaning and disinfecting routine,” it said.

Customers are no longer being asked to sign for mail deliveries requiring signature, rather the Postperson will sign to confirm the delivery in the presence of the customer.

‘World shortage’

CEO McRedmond was speaking on RTÉ’s Today with Seán O’Rourke programme and said that a “world shortage” of hand sanitiser had made it difficult to get a supply.

In response to a postman who texted the programme seeking to find out when they would get hand sanitiser, McRedmond said: 

I very much hope he got the hand sanitiser this morning. Hand sanitisers were ordered two months ago, we knew this crisis was coming and we literally got the hand sanitisers yesterday, and they were distributed to all of our operations this morning.

“Quite rightly, health service staff were prioritised for hand sanitisers, there is a world shortage and we’ve been scouring everywhere to get them and we have had a supply in and we have now got further supplies in the pipeline,” he added.

Speaking about the use of gloves, McRedmond said they are in use “in certain places where there’s heavy handling of letters” but that the use of gloves is not widely recommended because it can actually reduce the use of hand sanitisers.

Yesterday, An Post confirmed that it would be introducing early opening on Fridays to facilitate people collecting pension payments. The company also said that a planned increase in the price of stamps that was to come into place from today has now been postponed indefinitely.

“Now is not the time to be worried about us as a business it’s the time to be worrying about us as a service and providing the best possible service,” McRedmond said of the postponement.

The CEO also said that “some mail volumes are down” but that parcel deliveries are actually up.

“Mail volumes are down because businesses aren’t mailing and parcel volumes are holding steady. In fact there’s a slight increase in parcel volumes because people are shopping online. And the online shopping has switched, so we’re seeing a lot of online shopping for example from pharmacies from health stores, health providers, even from toys for children, we’re seeing that coming through now for books too.”

With reporting from Sean Murray

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Rónán Duffy

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