As supermarket shelves across the country were emptied and tighter restrictions applied to social interaction, many more people have turned to online shopping to minimise face-to-face contact. After many weeks in lockdown and restrictions beginning to change, staying home and staying safe is still more important than ever. Online shopping is a vital reasource to reduce risk and still access the amenities you need, so we want to make sure when receieving packages you are following the correct practices.
Can I contract Coronavirus from a package?
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), a package that has been "moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperatures" is highly unlikely to allow the virus to last very long and is not thought to be a significant means of spreading the disease. Although there is limited in-depth research into how COVID-19 behaves, there has been extensive research of the family of coronaviruses, such as SARS or MERS.
On this basis, the NHS have said "there is currently no evidence that you can catch coronavirus from parcels and letters" continuing that it's "very unlikely it can spread through things like packages or food". This is often due to harsh conditions during transit as Darshan Shah, Medical Director at Next Health has stated, "Mechanical, temperature and humidity changes would likely kill the virus before it arrives at your doorstep".
Even though the risk of coronavirus is minimised by ordering essentials online, if you're still concerned there are extra measures you can take to protect yourself and your recipients.
Our recommended steps for receiving parcels safely are as follows:
1. Keep 2 metres away
If an item won't fit through your letterbox, your courier will knock and place your parcel on your doorstep, stepping well back after doing so to allow you to collect it safely.
2. No signing
Interparcel and all of our courier partners are following measures to reduce risk and increase safety of both drivers and customers. They won't require a signature from you but may ask for your name or the name of the person taking in your parcel.
3. Empty parcel contents
Once brought inside, remove the contents of the package. You may want to sanitise these disinfectant containing at least 60% alcohol or an alcohol-based wipe.
4. Dispose of all packaging
Once opened and contents are removed you will need to dispose of any packaging or related materials immediately.
5. Wash hands for 20 seconds
Washing your hands with a sanitising soap for 20 seconds or more can effectively kill any bacteria or germs that are lingering on your hands. Everyone should be frequently washing their hands throughout the day.
What services can I use to minmise risks?
All of our couriers are now practicing contactless delivery. This will entail your courier arriving at your address and knocking on your door, then while standing at a safe distance they will ask for a name and sign on your behalf.
You can also further protect yourselves, your recipients and couriers by using contactless services such as InPost's Lockers. Situated in a secure and accessible public space these lockers allow you to drop off your parcel to send and collect any and all deliveries without face-to-face contact. These lockers have inbuilt automated security systems that allow you to access them any time of the day or night, seven days a week.
Find your nearest InPost locker with our Drop Off Locator.
Sending care packages to our loved ones in this time of uncertainty can be uplifting. This could be simply a birthday card to a friend in self-isolation, a hamper of home comforts to a family member abroad, or even a home-crafted book of the kid's best masterpieces for their grandparents. While in this period of distancing we are here to keep you connected to those you cannot reach, to keep spirits high.
If you also want to help those on the frontline of this pandemic, putting others before themselves to flatten the curve, Oxford Health Charity is taking donations to put towards care packages for our NHS workers during this stressful period.
Interparcel are working to provide customers and staff with guidance that aligns with Government advice. All of our staff are now working remotely to maintain the standard of services we pride ourselves with, so please don't hesitate to get in touch via telephone, live chat or email – Monday to Friday 8am-8pm.
Visit our COVID-19 updates page for ongoing information on services.