Hundreds of Post Offices across the country have cut their opening hours and one in five were yet to still reopen at the beginning of summer as the industry felt the effects of the coronavirus pandemic
Image: Getty Images)
One in five post offices which closed at the start of the pandemic were yet to reopen at the beginning of summer.
Hundreds of those operating again have cut their opening hours.
The devastating effect of Covid on the service was laid bare in a freedom of information query.
A Post Office reply stated: “The number of branches (excluding directly managed post offices) that have reported being closed to the public between March 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021 for a period of one month or more was 1,183.
“Of the 1,183, there are 260 which remain listed as closed as of June 30, 2021. Of the remaining 923 branches, there are 393 which have changed their opening hours from those of March 2020.”
The Post Office said that while 65 branches increased hours, another 328 slashed them. Labour’s Justin Madders said: “To have so many branches close leaving communities hanging in the air is a disgrace.
“It’s about time the Post Office recognised its responsibilities and started supporting communities and in particular the elderly and vulnerable who rely on them.”
The Post Office said: “We have over 11,500 branches open, just like each of the five years before Covid. We have opened dozens of new branches since lockdown eased and reopened many.”
UIG via Getty Images)
A Post Office spokesman said: “Today we have over 11,500 branches open across the UK just like each of the five years before the pandemic.
“We know how much local communities rely on our services, particularly customers with vulnerabilities which is why we have opened dozens of new branches since lockdown restrictions eased, re-opened many Post Offices and will seek to re-open more that had to close where possible.”
Figures last night (TUES) showed 31,564 new Covid-19 infections and 203 deaths.
Another 71,135 jabs were given, meaning 89.4% of over-16s have had one dose and 81.9% are fully-vaccinated.