Christmas post dates 2020: When is the deadline to send letters and parcels in the UK and internationally?

Sarah Young
·3-min read
Post your Christmas gifts and letters in plenty of time this year (istock)
Post your Christmas gifts and letters in plenty of time this year (istock)

The countdown to Christmas is well underway and it is likely that this year’s celebrations will look a little different.

With the UK waiting for government leaders to make a decision on Covid-19 lockdown restrictions and whether they will be lifted in time for the big day, many families are planning for the possibility that we may not see our loved ones on 25 December.

Whether you want to start preparations early or you’re someone who ends up frantically racing around at the 11th hour in a desperate bid to source a thoughtful gift for your nearest and dearest, do yourself a favour this festive season and ensure all those lovingly written cards and presents reach their recipient well before Christmas day arrives.

To help you get organised at this hectic time of year, we’ve listed all the crucial posting dates you need to know to ensure you’re ahead of the game this yuletide.

When are the last posting dates for Christmas 2020?

The latest posting dates for UK parcels and letters are:

Friday 18 December: 2nd Class and 2nd Class Signed For

Monday 21 December: 1st Class and 1st Class Signed For and Royal Mail Tracked 48

Tuesday 22 December: Royal Mail Tracked 24

Wednesday 23 December: Royal Mail Special Delivery

When will Royal Mail not deliver post?

Send your festive wishes in plenty of time this Xmasistock
Send your festive wishes in plenty of time this Xmasistock

There will be no Royal Mail delivery or collection service on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Due to the fact that Boxing Day falls on a Saturday this year, there will also be no collections or deliveries on Monday 28 December. However normal service will resume on Tuesday 29 December.

On New Year's Day there will be no deliveries or collections. In Scotland, 4 January is also a bank holiday, meaning there will be no deliveries or collections.

When are the last posting dates for sending items internationally?

Don't forget friends and relatives from around the worldistock
Don't forget friends and relatives from around the worldistock

If you’re sending items overseas, there are. a number of different services you can use.

Below are the final dates for Royal Mail’s standard and signature services, International economy, HM Forces Mail BFPOs and Parcelforce Worldwide.

Dates for each country vary, but you can view a full list here.

Royal Mail International Standard and International Tracking and Signature Services

  • Africa, Middle East, Asia, Far East, Caribbean, Central and South America – Wednesday 9 December

  • Cyprus and Malta – Thursday 10 December

  • Eastern Europe (except Poland, Czech, Slovakia), Greece, Turkey – Friday 11 December

  • Australia and New Zealand – Friday 4 December

  • Finland, Sweden, Czech Republic, Poland, Italy, Canada and the USA – Saturday 12 December

  • Austria, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland – Wednesday 16 December

  • Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg – Friday 18 December

Royal Mail International Economy

Unfortunately, the last dates for this service for items to arrive before Christmas have already passed. The final one was on 16 November.

HM Forces Mail BFPOs

  • Airmail to Operational BFPOs – Monday 30 November

  • Airmail to Static BFPOs – Monday 7 December

Parcelforce Worldwide: Global Express

  • Australia – Tuesday 15 December

  • Russia, New Zealand, China – Wednesday 16 December

  • Austria, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, USA – Friday 18 December

Can I still send a letter to Father Christmas?

Find out if you've been naughty or nice with a letter to Santaistock
Find out if you've been naughty or nice with a letter to Santaistock

Royal Mail will send your letter to St Nick for free. If you’re hoping for a reply, send your letter by Friday 11 December to:

Santa/Father Christmas, Santa’s Grotto, Reindeerland, XM4 5HQ

Or to receive a letter in Welsh, send to:

Sion Corn, Ogof Sion Corn, Gwlad Y Ceirw, XM4 5HQ

Don’t forget to include your full name and address to ensure his reply reaches you.

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