Now the post office comes to you: Czech Post launches mobile post offices

For the first time since the 1990s, mobile post offices will be found on the streets of the Czech Republic this October

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky
Published on 22.09.2020 16:45 (updated on 22.09.2020)

Czech Post is launching a pilot program this autumn that will bring mobile post offices to the streets of select locations around the Czech Republic. The mobile post offices will offer the same services as other Czech post offices, which go beyond just sending mail and allow visitors to pay bills via postal order, among other services.

According to Czech Interior Minister Jan Hamáček, the idea came about in response to the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic, when it was unclear when post offices would be able to re-open. During the spring, Czech Post offered reduced services; this autumn, many branches will also be adjusting their opening hours due to the pandemic.

As an added bonus, the outdoor mobile offices offer better opportunities for social distancing in times of COVID-19 than indoor locations.

The concept is not a new one. From 1918, Czech Post (previously Czechoslovak Post) offered mobile branches in buses and even airplanes which drove and flew between localities. The service was eventually disbanded in the 1990s.

A quarter-century later, the mobile post offices are now housed inside retrofitted Peugeot Boxer vans.

"It's a bit of a return to the past," Hamáček stated when unveiling the mobile post offices with Czech Post this afternoon.

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"I believe that it will work and people will appreciate it."

Mobile post office van via Czech Post
Mobile post office van via Czech Post

The cost of the Peugeot Boxer, and converting it into a fully-fledged post office with all the necessary materials including a safe, came to about a million crowns.

A front client space at the side of the van includes an awning that offers protection in case of inclement weather, and the counter partition includes a built-in automatic disinfectant dispenser.

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"It's a stone branch on wheels," Czech Post Director of Business Development Martin Vránek told CTK.

"After evaluating the data from the operation of the pilot operation and finding out the public's interest, we will continue to decide on further expansion."

From October 1, the mobile post offices will go into operation in the municipalities of Dobruška in the Rychnov and Dvorce in the Bruntál district. If successful, the operation will be expanded to other locations across the Czech Republic.

"The aim of the pilot is the validation of alternative forms of service for our clients and charting their preferences," Czech Post Director of State Postal Services Miroslav Stepan stated in a press release.

"I believe that the mobile post office will become an almost full-fledged alternative, for example, to a closed branch due to a crisis situation or reconstruction. "

Never used a Czech post office? See our handy guide on how to navigate a Czech post office here.