USPS Suspending Guarantee on Priority Mail Express to China

By Jack Phillips

The U.S. Postal Service announced that it will be “temporarily suspending the guarantee on priority mail express” to China or Hong Kong over airline cancellations and other restrictions that were implemented due to the spread of coronavirus.

The suspension is slated go into effect starting Monday, according to an alert posted by the Postal Service on its website.

Further details were not offered in the bulletin, but the USPS said on Feb. 7 that customers should “expect delays in transport and delivery during this period.”

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The U.S. Postal Service website’s alert. (USPS)

It also stressed that it is safe to receive postal items from China without the risk of contracting coronavirus. But it said, “Measures have nevertheless been implemented to ensure the safety of mail processing and postal staff, including disinfection of postal offices, processing centers and transportation vehicles, and monitoring of postal staff’s physical health.”

“Delivery will be conducted via non-face-to-face methods, such as temporary storage at the postal outlet, availability for collection from the outlet, or delivery to a smart parcel locker. Therefore, delays should be expected in the processing and delivery of inbound mail, and it may not be possible to provide written proof of delivery,” according to the Postal Service.

Last week, the union that represents United Parcel Service (UPS) pilots said that it reached an agreement with the delivery company to make flying to China a voluntary job.

“This joint effort addresses crewmember concerns over safety during the coronavirus health crisis,” the union said in a statement, according to CNBC.

Rival delivery company FedEx announced it would allow its pilots to opt-out of going to China.

Medical personnel stand outside a block
Medical personnel stand outside a block in the ground of a residential estate, in Hong Kong, early on Feb. 11, 2020, after two people in the block were confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus according to local newspaper reports. (Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images)

“The safety and well-being of our team members is always our top priority, and we continue to closely monitor developments related to the coronavirus. Throughout this situation, we have been in constant communication with our crew force regarding our flight operations in China. We can confirm that we have reached an agreement with our pilots that allows crew members to voluntarily decline trips into China,” the Memphis, Tennessee-based firm said on Feb. 8, according to local station WREG.

The coronavirus is believed to have sickened thousands of people inside mainland China, although netizens and citizen journalists have suspected that the true number of cases is far higher than what the Chinese Communist Party is reporting. The outbreak first prompted a lockdown in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, and later, in numerous other cities.

Correction: The previous headline of this article was corrected from “USPS Temporarily Suspends Some Mail to China Amid Coronavirus Outbreak” to the current headline. The Epoch Times regrets this error.

From The Epoch Times