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Coronavirus UK: Royal Mail delivery office in Swindon closes

A Royal Mail delivery office has been forced to close after a coronavirus outbreak saw 1,000 workers sent home.

The firm said yesterday it had been forced to shut the centre in Swindon, Wiltshire, due to ‘resourcing issues’.

But it later emerged the plant had temporarily ceased operations after two staff members tested positive for Covid-19.

This means up to six local postcode areas will not receive any deliveries until tomorrow at the earliest.

All workers at the facility were sent home as a deep clean of the facility was carried out. It is not known how many, if any, were told to self isolate. 

A spokesperson for the Royal Mail has since said that the facility has re-opened, and that some staff have been able to return to the office, after the organisation previously said they had decided to close the office as a ‘precautionary measure’.

‘An intensive clean of the building has been completed following the two positive tests for Coronavirus,’ the spokesperson said. ‘The majority of our colleagues are now back in the office and are focusing on providing a full service to the local community.

‘We are working to keep disruption to mail deliveries to a minimum as we address the concerns of our colleagues.

‘Throughout this crisis, every decision we make puts the health of our people and customers first.

‘We have put in place a range of preventive measures to protect both our customers and our colleagues.

‘As well as encouraging good hand hygiene, standard ways of working have been revised to ensure that colleagues stay two metres apart at all times.

‘All staff have been briefed about the social distancing measures jointly agreed by local management and the CWU.

‘This has been supplemented with visible reminders such as posters and one-way floor markings.

‘In addition there is only one person permitted in a Royal Mail delivery vehicle at any one time.’

It is the latest in a series of blows for the post service during the coronavirus pandemic.

Royal Mail was fined £1.5million by Ofcom after failing to deliver at least 93 per cent of first-class post across the UK within one working day of it being collected.

The regulator said the firm missed its target in the financial year ending in 2019, with only 91.5 per cent of first-class post reaching its destination on time.

But the company did meet its obligations the following financial year.

The watchdog said it handed the hefty fine as the group did not provide a ‘satisfactory explanation and it did not take sufficient steps to get back on track during the year’. 

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