The Irish postal service has launched a new Community Focus initiative to keep local communities connected as Ireland enters a second lockdown. 

An Post will collect mail from elderly and vulnerable members of the community, deliver free postage to care homes, and offer discounted delivery services for small to medium-sized businesses as part of the new Community Focus program. 

The Irish post office will also be delivering newspapers and checking in on vulnerable members of the community who may become isolated during Ireland's Level 5 COVID-19 restrictions.

Family members of older or vulnerable customers can register for the free check-in service by completing the postal address and eircode of the customer at anpost.com/CommunityFocus.

An Post is also working with ALONE, a national charity ensuring the protection of elderly residents, to bring groceries and medical prescriptions to anyone who needs them. 

There will also be special arrangements for anyone receiving social welfare payments from the Department of Economic Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) during lockdown. 

An Post will also be offering two free stamps with every "Send Love" booklet purchased during the Level 5 restrictions.

The Send Love booklet consists of 10 stamps and costs €10. The special stamps feature the word "love" with the Irish word "grá" (Irish for love) replacing the O. 

An Post is trying to encourage people to write to each other during the lockdown with the free stamps, echoing a similar initiative it launched during the first coronavirus lockdown when it offered two free postcards to every household in Ireland so that people could stay in touch the old fashioned way when they were kept apart during the pandemic. 

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