Covid-19 restrictions stopping mail service to Australia, New Zealand

Other countries have resumed service but introduced size restrictions on items

File photo. Post box  in Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke

File photo. Post box in Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke

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Covid-19 travel restrictions and a reduction in international flights has resulted in Irish residents being unable to send or receive mail from Australia and New Zealand, An Post has said.

“We, along with our fellow posts globally, have been wrestling with this issue since the start of the Covid crisis and hope soon to be able to restore services. However, it is impossible to gauge when that might be,” a spokesman for the company said.

An Post did not have figures for the number of people or the volume of mail affected, but the spokesman added that “given the level of the Irish population in Australia, for example, there is a healthy level of mail between the two countries including so called ‘care parcels’ from Ireland to family members in Australia”.

Several other countries, including France, have resumed postal services to the State but with restrictions in place as a result of the “complex global situation” in which transport and logistics networks have been “seriously impacted” by the pandemic.

There is currently no parcel service from Ireland to the US, but letters, large envelopes and packets are still being accepted. Sweden is another country where full postal service has not yet been restored. Mail is currently being accepted for France but there are some restrictions relating to the size of items. The French post office has told An Post that there are internal delays on all mail and it has limited the size of items to 32cm by 24cm by 24cm.

“Social distancing is in effect and thus they cannot guarantee the delivery of larger items until these measures have been lifted,” An Post said.

For mail to and from Italy, the maximum item weight is 25kg, maximum length is 120cm and maximum of all three dimensions is 150cm.

Several countries, including Lithuania, Latvia, Belgium and Bulgaria are experiencing “internal delays”, resulting in a longer delivery time, An Post said.

However, postal services from various countries were being restored all the time. South Africa, South Korea and Croatia were among a group of about 14 countries to which mail services were recently restored.

“We face the same sets of problems as our sister posts across the globe,” the An Post spokesman said. “Each of us [is] dealing with a rapidly changing situation as routes come back on line or further Covid restrictions impact on our options.”

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