AN POST will arrange the delivery of groceries, medicines, post and newspapers to Ireland's vulnerable as part of new measures unveiled today.
The new measures are designed to help Ireland’s elderly and vulnerable through the coronavirus pandemic and limit the spread of Covid-19.
As part of the new initiative, An Post will also arrange for the collection and delivering of letters and parcels from these at risk groups, with some 160,000 homes set to benefit under the scheme.
Postal workers will also be deployed to arrange grocery and pharmacy deliveries to these homes.
Confirming the new measures, CEO David McRedmond said:“So postmen and women will now, not just deliver the post, they will call on older and vulnerable people living in the communities, being a practical and trusted person usually known to those people, to help them.
"They'll go in with a set of questions such as, do they need food, do they need pharmacy, to send out messages. And the postmen and women will then take that back and we will look out for that and make sure that that gets fulfilled.”
An Post is introducing a number of additional measures to help the elderly and vulnerable during the Covid-19 pandemic, says CEO David McRedmond | Follow live #coronavirus updates: https://t.co/5xl0IqJCmf pic.twitter.com/6y8pbp4tDU
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) March 25, 2020
The elderly and vulnerable will be able to get post delivered for free from their homes under the scheme.
Mr McRedmond: “We will also take parcels and letters from the elderly and vulnerable. And we estimate that somewhere around 10% of homes or 160,000 homes, we'll take letters and parcels and distribute them for free, so that they can stay connected with their loved ones.
“The third one [measure] is to help say 'hello'. We're encouraging everyone to reach out to friends and family. We are distributing two postcards for each household. We've distributed 2 million so far.
“We're going to distribute another 3 million to homes, to nursing homes to everybody in our society, to prisoners, everybody is going to get these cards, so they can write to their loved ones, and let them know they're thinking of them while staying apart.”
The An Post CEO also confirmed newspapers would be delivered to these households from Monday as part of a coordinated effort involving other Irish media groups.
“We're working actively now with the National Newspapers of Ireland, and with the local newspapers of Ireland, to find a way so that we will, by the start of next week, be able to distribute newspapers to people and people will be able to register to get those newspapers delivered,” he said.
“We will start off with the elderly and vulnerable and then we will roll that out.”
The government is also working with An Post to distribute a booklet offering guidance on how to best halt the spread of COVID-19.
The booklet, which will be set to every home in Ireland, includes advice from World Health Organisation and Irish officials on how best to protect homes against coronavirus.