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Closure of rural post office blow to community

COA POST Office has closed temporarily and, with the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 crisis, it is not known when it will reopen.
The branch closed at the end of March, which the Post Office has said was “due to unforeseen circumstances.” Now it has said it is not known when it will reopen.
“Currently it is unclear how long this branch will remain temporarily closed,” said Janse Sung, Post Office change manager, in a letter to the local Council informing it of the closure.
“The coronavirus pandemic is clearly having a big impact on all businesses countrywide and things are changing daily, however we can assure you that we will continue to work to find a solution that will restore post office services to the local community.”
The news of the post office’s closure will come as a blow to the local community in Coa, especially many older people who rely on it for their pensions. It is understood there had been a low uptake of the government’s alternative pension collection options, which launched in mid-April, such as phone payment or via Royal Mail Special Delivery. 
Many older people also rely on the service to pay bills, or manage their money, using a Post Office Card Account.
Indeed, several local volunteer groups who are helping those who are currently self-isolating across Fermanagh have noted a very high dependency on post office services among some older people.
The issue is due to be discussed at the first full Council meeting since lockdown began, due to be held virtually tonight, Wednesday May 6th.

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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