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Changes during the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak

Post offices are one of the few outlets ​permitted to remain open​, despite strict curbs placed on shops by the government. Many post offices have reduced their ​opening hours​. Crown and WHSmith branches are open 9am-3pm Monday to Friday, and 9am-12.30pm on Saturdays. All other post offices are open at hours decided by the postmaster.

Particular post offices may be eligible for general government support for businesses. For more in formation on this, please see the Library briefing Support for businesses during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak. The Welsh Government have a page setting out support for businesses in Wales.

The Post Office has also announced that all independent postmasters who are keeping their branches open will receive guaranteed remuneration in April and May. The Post Office has said that this guarantee will be kept under review if public health advice to stay at home continues.

The latest details were set out in a press release from the Post Office – Post Office press releases can be found here

As of March 2019, there are 11,638 branches in the Post Office network. In the year to March 2019 the total number of post offices in the UK increased by 91 (0.8%).

Since around 2009 the number of post offices in the UK has remained reasonably consistent. Over the longer term (since the early 1980s) the number of post offices has almost halved.

Regions and countries of the UK- change in post office numbers 2010 to 2019Since 2010 the trends in many UK regions and countries has been fairly similar to each other. Scotland and Yorkshire and the Humber have seen the largest percentage falls in the number of post offices.

Post Office Ltd, which owns and runs the Post Office Network, was separated from Royal Mail Group Ltd on 1 April 2012. In return for a package of Government funding for transformation and modernisation, the Post Office committed to investing in the network, and maintaining around 11,500 branches. Further details about Post Office Ltd are given in the Library Note The Post Office.

Further information on post offices in each constituency

A full list of Post offices by constituency has been made available to the Library by the Post Office Ltd, since 2002. These lists are copyrighted to the Post Office and for that reason the Library is only able to provide them to Members and their staff.

A table with the numbers of post offices by constituency Post offices by constituency is available via the Parliamentary intranet only.

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