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Coronavirus: Postman begs 'give us time to step away before opening your door'

31 Mar 2020, 04:31 ... e-21783001

EXCLUSIVE: Royal Mail postman Ethan Gordon, from Boston, Lincolnshire, urged homeowners against opening the door when they see delivery workers approaching during the coronavirus outbreak

A postman has issued a warning to homeowners in lockdown to not approach delivery staff - nor to open front doors until staff have stepped away.

Ethan Gordon, from Boston, Lincolnshire, outlined four instructions the public must follow when receiving their daily post to adhere to social distancing.

The 30-year-old went viral on Facebook after he wrote an important message to UK households during the global Covid-19 pandemic.

His social media post has been shared 36,000 times and has received thousands of comments from residents praising postmen for continuing to deliver during the crisis.

The Royal Mail worker posted a selfie taken in his van with a cat, adding: "So I'm a Postie (and a dad, a husband, a son and an awesome friend!!) and would like to inform you of some important information. We deliver your parcels and letters every day.

The postman's Facebook post has been shared 36,000 times

"What you may not be aware of is we ARE classed as KEYWORKERS through these terrible times. The CWU (our union) have offered us to become an emergency service for the public.

"If things get worse, then us posties could be delivering healthcare products, food and even medication."

Ethan then detailed what the public must do to adhere to Royal Mail’s strict new guidelines which ensure their workers make no contact with customers.

He continued: "All that is asked from the public is: Think about safety first, for yours and the postie.

"If you see a postie coming towards your door please DO NOT OPEN YOUR DOOR. We will sign your parcels and letters for you. We will leave the parcel, food or medication on your doorstep and then knock. Give the postie enough time to step away from the door.

He urged people to give postal workers enough time to step away before opening the door

"If you are already outside your house, go inside or step away 2 metres from your postie. Please do not approach your postie. If we tell you to stop and back up or close your door, don't feel offended. We are only trying to help protect you and us from this virus.

"Lastly, if you see us out and want to stop us to have a chat, feel free, it can be a lonely job. BUT, remember to stay at least 2 metres away from your postie. NO handshaking, fist bumps, high fives, and certainly no kisses on the cheeks."

Ethan finished the post by encouraging people to ‘stay safe’ in order to beat coronavirus together as a country.

He said he had spotted the post online and decided to share his own version, adding step four to encourage the public to speak to their postie during these lonely times.

He said: "It's great that it's got so much attention and the awareness has spread but I can't take full credit for it.

"I feel great knowing that it's got so far around the country. People in London, Brighton, Manchester, even Cornwall have seen, shared and liked the post along with some really nice comments.

"It gives me a sense of achievement but any of the other postie’s posts about this message on new Royal Mail procedures in this current climate could have gone viral. I guess I was the lucky one!"

Ethan also thanked those households who are going to extreme measures and disinfecting their letter boxes and door handles.

However Ethan admitted that not all of the customers on his postal round are aware of the current crisis.

He said: "There are some customers on my round that aren't internet savvy. They sometimes still come to the door to greet me and it's at this point I repeat the current procedures to is for their safety and all posties alike. But, mostly everyone is happy to comply and understands why."

The postman joked that his work colleagues now refer to him as a ‘celebrity’ but he laughs it off as he is just thrilled his message is being read and understood by so many.

Ethan is still concerned that some people aren’t taking the virus seriously and that Covid-19 will continue to ‘spread like wildfire.’

He has to repeat the social distancing advice in person to some homeowners

But he is starting to see more and more households making changes in how they accept their post.

He said: "In terms of the new delivery technique - a high percentage of people are taking this very seriously.

"Members of the public haven't said too much really. The topics of discussions are the same usually; weather, plans for the weekend (as restricted as they are now). Mainly, customers have been so nice about us posties being a sign of some normality in testing times."

Ethan also pointed out that he was happy to see communities coming together to help each other during testing times.

He said: "It seems as though our community, and country, is a lot more positive even with all the worry and uncertainty. People are still going about their day and doing lots of odd jobs around the house they were putting off for a later time.

"I see a lot more people helping others out. The village I deliver has a Facebook page and I've seen posts of vulnerable people asking for help with food shopping or simply getting the daily paper. It's nice to see."

Ethan has also been helping others and revealed he went and bought a big bag of sugar for one household so they could have their cups of tea and continue baking.

He said: "Their local shop was out but I was going to the supermarket later that day so I went back and surprised them with it. They baked me a lovely sponge cake the following day. A nice gesture but I was just happy to help where I can."

The postman is keen to let the country know that ‘Royal Mail are still operating, along with other delivery drivers around the country.’

"We are helping the country tick over," he said.

"Mainly it's to push social distancing, including when us posties rock up to customers' doors to deliver mail/parcels.

"Please, everyone, stay indoors while we approach your home, we will sign all letters and parcels needing a signature and will place them on your doorstep before we knock and step away at least 2 metres.

"If you're not home then we will follow normal guidelines and leave you a note to say it has been returned to your local delivery office.

"If you are unable to get to your door or cannot bend down to collect your post then please let your postie know, if not already aware, and we will seek alternative delivery options."

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