Shanklin residents have told the Isle of Wight County Press that vital Covid-19 correspondence – about tests and vaccinations – are being held up because the Royal Mail does not have enough people to deliver the post.
On Tuesday, there were national reports of problems.
Some 28 areas were highlighted – including in London, Kent and the north of England – however, the Isle of Wight was not listed.
But the County Press has learned of numerous problems here.
One resident voiced her concern for elderly people, who rely on the post arriving promptly.
Islanders – like people across the UK – have been told to await contact from the NHS and not to call their GPs.
A second County Press reader said that postal deliveries in the South Wight were so sparse that they had occasionally dwindled to just one per week.
One couple was forced to wait weeks for a new vaccination appointment, after their original letter did not arrive in time; while a Niton resident got a letter on the day of her appointment, but too late to travel to Shanklin to receive the jab.
A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “Across the UK, our people are working hard to deliver as comprehensive a service as possible to all our customers in challenging circumstances.
“Despite our best endeavours, it is possible that some areas of the country may experience a reduction in service levels due to higher volumes of mail during the lockdown, the ongoing impact of Covid-related staff absences and necessary social distancing measures at local mail centres and delivery offices.
“Right from the start of this crisis, we have played a key role keeping the country connected.
“Every single letter and parcel is important to us.
“Like most organisations, we have a number of employees who are self-isolating, in line with government guidance. This has a direct impact on our staffing levels, especially in areas where there are higher levels of local outbreaks.
“We are working hard to deliver as normal a service as we can, drawing in extra resource and offering additional overtime where possible.
“We remain grateful to all our customers in these areas for their patience and understanding as our dedicated workforce work hard to deliver these exceptional volumes, whilst also adhering to necessary social distancing measures.
“We always endeavour to keep our customers updated on any changes to our services. We have a dedicated section on our website.
“Throughout the pandemic, every decision we make puts the health of our people and customers first.”