Is there post on Monday? How Royal Mail services are affected by the bank holiday for the Queen’s funeral

Monday will be a bank holiday across the UK for the Queen’s state funeral.

Many major retailers have announced they are closing their doors for the entire day, while others will open for reduced hours.

The day of the funeral will be more akin to Christmas Day than a normal bank holiday, with most supermarkets shutting all day.

Here’s how postal services will operate, and everything else you need to know.

Will there be post on Monday?

There will be no collection, processing or delivery of letters and parcels on Monday due to the Queen’s funeral.

Royal Mail said: “Following the announcement that HM the Queen’s state funeral will be marked as a bank holiday,
Royal Mail services will be suspended on the day of the funeral.”

Post Offices will also be closed all day across the country, but should open on Tuesday morning as normal.

What time is the Queen’s funeral?

At 6.30am on the day of the funeral, the Queen’s lying in state will end, and in the morning the coffin will be taken in procession from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey for the funeral.

The service is set to take place at 11am. Further details of the service will be published in due course, but it is expected that Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby will lead the service.

There will be a national two-minute silence held at midday on the day of the funeral.

The state funeral, which will be televised, is the first in more than half a century, since the televised funeral of Winston Churchill, who died in 1965.

After the service, the coffin will travel in procession to Wellington Arch, behind Buckingham Palace, where it will be taken to Windsor.

In Windsor, the coffin will travel to St George’s Chapel via the Long Walk, where a private committal service will see her finally laid to rest.

Which shops will be closed?

Sainsbury’s confirmed that its larger stores will be closed on Monday. However, it said its convenience stores and petrol filling stations would be open from 5pm until 10pm to allow customers to purchase essential items. It added that some stores in central London would also be open to serve those attending the funeral.

Tesco has also said its larger stores will be shut, but convenience stores will open from 5pm.

Tesco UK chief executive Jason Tarry said: “We want to express our deepest condolences to the Royal Family, as well as our gratitude to Her Majesty the Queen for her unwavering service.

“On Monday 19 September, in order for our colleagues to pay their respects, our large stores will be closed all day and our Express stores will remain closed until 5pm.”

The supermarket has also cancelled online orders on the day of the funeral, as has online retailer Ocado.

Morrisons said all its UK supermarkets will shut on Monday, with petrol stations opening at 5pm.

Lidl and Aldi will both shut their stores for the day, as will Co-op.

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Shirine Khoury-Haq, Co-op chief executive, said: “We are deeply saddened by the death of Her Majesty the Queen.

“As a mark of respect and to give our colleagues, customers and members time to reflect and mourn, we will be closing our stores on Monday 19 September.”

M&S said it will close stores and also halt deliveries to customers.

Stuart Machin, chief executive at M&S, said: “All of us at M&S – and indeed across the country and beyond – feel a real and deep sense of loss and sadness at the passing of Her Majesty, as well as huge respect for the grace with which His Majesty King Charles III and the wider royal family have led the nation in our mourning.

“It is right that we make changes to our operational arrangements on the day of the funeral to ensure our colleagues across our stores and distribution network can participate, whilst supporting customers as they show their respects too.”

He added there will be “limited exceptions in London and Windsor”, where M&S will serve customers paying their respects to the Queen.

These stores will be shut during the funeral itself, the retailer highlighted.

Franchise stores at travel locations and in public service sites, such as hospitals, are expected to remain open on Monday.

Asda said it will shut all its stores until 5pm on the day to allow employees to watch the funeral, and there will be no online deliveries.

The John Lewis Partnership, which also operates Waitrose supermarkets, will close almost all its stores.

In a statement it said: “When full details of the funeral are confirmed, an exception may be a very limited number of Waitrose stores on the route of the funeral procession to serve members of the public who we know will be lining the route for many hours. These shops will, however, close for the funeral itself.”

DIY stores Homebase and B&Q, which typically enjoy brisk trade on bank holidays, also announced their intention to remain shut, along with Primark, Poundland and WH Smith.

People can expect most major stores to be closed until at least 5pm on the day of the funeral, as well as independent shops.

McDonald’s has announced it will open at 5pm. Starbucks cafes will be closed between 11am and 20m, while Costa will be shut all day, other than cafes inside hospitals.

Major cinema chains including Cineworld, Odeon and Showcase will be shut all day, as will most theatres and museums.

Gyms including PureGym and David Lloyd will be closed during the funeral itself.

Do stores have to close?

Retailers are not required to shut on the day, but it is likely that many will do so to mark the occasion – and for fear of attracting criticism from members of the public or media organisations.

“There is no obligation on organisations to suspend business during the national mourning period,” government guidance states.

“Depending on the nature and location of their business and the tone of planned events, some businesses may wish to consider closing or postponing events, especially on the day of the State Funeral, however this is at the discretion of individual businesses.”

The British Retail Consortium said: “Retailers are taking their lead from Government and are choosing to mark the Queen’s passing in ways they deem appropriate for their staff and customers.”

Will I get the day off?

The Government has announced that the national holiday will be treated as a standard bank holiday – meaning there is no obligation for employers to let their staff have that day off.

“There is no statutory entitlement to time off for bank holidays, but employers may include bank holidays as part of a worker’s leave entitlement,” it said.

Staff having the day off is “a matter for discussion between individuals and their employer” and the Government “cannot interfere” in existing contractual arrangements.

The Government added that it expected many workers would be able to take the day off, saying: “The bank holiday will be a unique national moment, and we would encourage employers to respond sensitively to requests from workers who wish to take time off.”

It advises those who have employment contracts which require them to work some bank holidays to discuss with their employer if they can have the time off.

Will schools be closed?

Schools around the UK will close for the day. The Government said it was not “asking them to remain open on the day of the bank holiday”.

This will give thousands of youngsters the chance to watch the televised service and pay their respects, Government sources told the PA news agency.

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