Coronavirus prompts changes to Canada Post in the Okanagan

Canada Post is warning its Okanagan customers to double-check its retail outlets’ hours amid the coronavirus outbreak.

It said that many post offices will reduce hours of service, opening one hour later and closing one hour earlier to clean, restock and provide some relief to employees.

“As well, for the first hour of each day, we will offer priority service to those who are at a higher risk (the elderly or people with compromised immune systems),” the organization said in a news release.

Canada Post said franchise-operated post offices will follow the measures put in place by its operators.

“We are working to keep our post offices open, but some may close due to building closures beyond our control and some smaller locations may close due to personnel reasons,” a news release said. “In these cases, we will direct customers to the nearest operating post office.”

Canada Post is also reminding waiting customers to respect social distancing measures of two metres.

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The mail delivery service said it’s working on signage and floor decals for larger post offices, adding that it may limit the number of customers in smaller spaces.

“We are also working on clear barriers for the counter to increase safety,” Canada Post said.

The postal service is encouraging customers to pay by using the tap function on credit or debit cards, but said it will continue to accept cash.

Canada Post said it has suspended its normal 15-day hold period, and parcels left at the post office for pickup will not be returned to their sender until further notice.

The company is also asking customers who are feeling ill or self-isolating to not visit the post office.

The postal delivery service said that to eliminate customer interactions at the door, it has implemented a “knock, drop and go approach.”

Canada Post said the change eliminates the need for signatures at the door, and delivery employees will knock or ring, choose the safest location available to leave the item and then depart for the next address.

The company said the change greatly reduces the number of parcels sent to post offices for pick-up.

However, items that require proof of age, ID or customs payments will be sent directly from a depot to a retail post office for pick-up with no restrictions on when customers can pick up the item, according to a news release.

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