Residents fear they may not receive their Christmas cards until the new year after a Covid outbreak among postal workers put a stop to their deliveries.
It comes after 14 members of staff at the Canterbury delivery office in Military Road, which serves the whole district, tested positive for coronavirus.
Tankerton dad Neil Webster says his daughters, Alexis and Zoë, have not received gift vouchers and cards sent to them by loved ones in the run-up to Christmas.
“We’ve had no letters, cards or anything like that since December 11,” the 54-year-old said.
“It’s the same for other people, not just us. I’m aware of neighbours expecting details of appointments, which have been stuck in the post.
“I think people could be getting their Christmas cards in January.”
Cllr Neil Baker says people living in Herne Bay and Whitstable have either not received their post for several days on end or had to make do with sporadic deliveries.
The Conservative also understands Royal Mail has prioritised the delivery of parcels over letters.
Sarah MacKinlay, from Spenser Road in Herne Bay, says she has received about a quarter of the number of Christmas cards she was expecting.
“I’ve had nothing for the last week,” the 39-year-old said.
“I’m expecting post from grandparents, in-laws and family members who we’d otherwise be meeting for Christmas.
“These are small things, but when you’re not with your family, those little things make a big difference.
“It’s a difficult time of year and we’re in unprecedented times, so having a reliable post service is really important to lift people’s spirits.”
The Gazette has also been contacted by residents in Hampton who have received their post just once in the past 12 days.
Royal Mail bosses say they expect the introduction of Tier 4 restrictions across the county to result in a significant increase in the volume of mail postmen will be handling.
The predicted surge means they anticipate delivering more UK parcels in the next three-and-a-half weeks than some of the company’s competitors handle in an entire year.
A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “There are currently 14 colleagues who have tested positive for coronavirus at the Canterbury delivery office.
“We wish them a speedy recovery.
“We have carried out an intensive clean of the site and have organised additional cleaning of key touch points and all communal areas.
“We want to reassure our customers that with the support of the 33,000 extra temporary staff we have taken on, and the extra investment we have made, we are in a good position to deliver items posted before the last recommended posting dates in time for Christmas.”