Royal Mail has announced it will stop all letter deliveries at the weekend because of the coronavirus pandemic. Starting this weekend, no letters will be delivered on a Saturday.
Royal Mail deliveries usually take place six days a week with letters arriving from Monday to Saturday.
However, a new rule means this will no longer happen on a Saturday in a suspension described as “temporary”.
This change will not affect Special Delivery, Tracked, and all non-account services.
The update comes as businesses across the country adapt to social distancing rules put in place by the government.
Britons are being urged to stay home as much as possible and most people are self-isolating at home.
Although the mail service has continued, some staff have been self-isolating as they experience coronavirus symptoms.
Royal Mail has updated its policy to help deal with the increasing pressure this has caused.
A message on the Royal Mail website read: “We continue to work hard to collect, process and deliver the UK’s mail in unprecedented times.
“However, along with other organisations, we are experiencing increased levels of employee absence due to illness and self-isolation.
“Absence rates are currently significantly higher than what we normally expect at this time of year.”
To deal with absences, the delivery service will no longer operate as usual on a Saturday.
The website continued: “To manage these severe absence levels, we are implementing a range of mitigations.
“These include changing the time guarantee on Special Delivery, deploying non-operational managers in delivery and temporarily no longer delivering letters on a Saturday.”
Although Royal Mail has announced plans to stop deliveries on a Saturday, it will try to keep operations as normal as possible.
The delivery service said it has increased resources in a bid to keep business going.
“Our delivery operation is a key part of keeping the country moving,” the statement added.
“We have put even more resources in to keep delivering.
“This includes additional overtime provision and a very significant investment in protective equipment for our colleagues.”
Royal Mail employees have been given special equipment to keep them protected during the coronavirus lockdown, the statement claimed.