POSTAL workers are dealing with about 13,000 parcels a day across the borough due to ‘overwhelming’ online orders during the coronavirus outbreak, bosses have revealed.

Royal Mail workers have been taking on longer shifts to deal with the rate of orders being 15 per cent higher than during the Christmas period.

Simon Lally, the delivery manager at Royal Mail in Barnsley, said: “Of course this coronavirus outbreak has had a massive impact on our service.

“Here in Barnsley we’ve got up to 135 postal workers going out to deliver parcels every day.

“So, we’ve had to completely take apart everything we used to do to keep our staff safe.

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“We have brought in a three-shift system to limit the number of staff on the floor at any one time.

“It’s now only one postal worker in a single van when out on delivery, too.”

The rate of delivery orders has increased significantly across the borough as more people have been ordering online.

“As people are now at home, the amount of orders have increased significantly,” Simon added.

“At the moment, we are 15 per cent busier than we were at Christmas where we usually have extra temporary staff to deal with the demand.

“However, now we have about a ten per cent lower workforce because of staff self-isolating with symptoms or their family experiencing symptoms.

“Each day, I estimate that we deliver in excess of 13,000 parcels, which has been quite the challenge.”

Simon thinks that following social distancing guidelines is the only way to keep staff and the community safe.

“Postal workers are now knocking on doors, and putting the package on the floor and immediately stepping two metres away from the door.

“But what we’re finding is people are expecting their parcels and coming to the front door straight away so we’re having to warn them to step back.

“Naturally, some people have been taking against that and giving us a bit of abuse, but it’s for everyone’s safety.”

Simon wants to thank the community who have rallied around to support Royal Mail workers during the outbreak. He said: “The best part of this is seeing the support from the community. Some young kids had left out a bowl of fruit and chocolate as a thanks. The workers are so heartened by these acts of kindness and it really motivates us through the day.

“I take my hat off to every single postal worker delivering around Barnsley, they are going out with a ‘can-do’ attitude every day and doing everything they can to keep deliveries coming.”

Shane O’Riordain, managing director of marketing, regulation and corporate affairs, at Royal Mail, added: “More than ever, people are relying on us, and we will continue to work hard to deliver the most comprehensive service we can to all our customers at this difficult time. Despite our best endeavours, it’s possible that some areas of the country may experience a reduction in service levels because of coronavirus related absences.

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