Canada Post is changing its services: Six things you need to know

Canada Post announced a series of changes to their mail service in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Ryan Remiorz/CP)

As the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread, changes to the way you’ll receive and pick up your mail are coming. Here’s what you need to know:

Reduced hours of service

Canada Post says it will reduce hours of operation for “many” of its post office locations by opening one hour later and closing an hour earlier in an effort to protect customers and employees from contracting COVID-19. 

In a press release issued on Tuesday, the postal service says it will use these two hours to clean service locations, restock items and provide “relief to employees.”

Canada Post has not yet announced which locations will operate under these reduced hours of service, and warn that some post office locations may close all together due to “building closures beyond their control... and personal reasons.”

New social distancing protocols

Similar to other services, such as large grocery stores and pharmacies, Canada Post asks customers to stay two metres (six feet) apart at larger facilities and limit the number of customers at a time within smaller locations. Canada Post also plans to install clear barriers between customers and their service staff at office locations and encourage customers to use the tap feature on credit and debit cards rather than exchanging cash by hand.

15-day return to sender policy suspended

Don’t fret, if you’re self-isolating or feeling under the weather, Canada Post will hold onto your packages until further notice in a bid to help limit the spread of the virus.

New 'Knock, Drop and Go' parcel delivery policy

To further reduce visits to the post office and encourage social distancing, Canada Post will now knock on your door or ring your doorbell, choose what they determine as “the safest location” to place the item, then leave. 

So, if you’re expecting an important parcel or piece of mail, best keep an ear trained on the front door, or ask a trusted neighbour to look out for your delivery if you really do need to leave your house, apartment or condo. Also, don’t forget to wash your hands with soap and warm water after handling your delivery.

Expect Delays in Parcel Delivery

Canada Post has suspended its “On-Time Delivery Guarantee” policy for parcel deliveries, so expect a longer wait for your Amazon orders to arrive at your doorstep. However, deliveries that require proof of age, ID or customs payments can now get picked up at local retail post offices as opposed to a depot that’s probably further away; there's no time restrictions for when customers can pick up these types of deliveries either. Expect a delivery notice card in the mail that will tell you which local post office to go to in order to pick up your parcel. 

Remember, Canada Post employees are human too

Be friendly to your mail deliverer. A smile or a thumbs-up means more to all of us these days. Just make sure to practice social distancing protocols by staying two metres (six feet) apart from each other.

Stay safe, Canadians.

More coronavirus coverage from Yahoo Canada