THE only post office on Walney has closed after its owner took the 'difficult decision' to protect her staff.

The Mill Lane outlet has closed after four employees went into self-isolation amid concerns they might have coronavirus.

Customer relationship manager Marianne Livesey owns the Mill Lane and Risedale Road post offices with seven members of staff employed across both stores.

"I've had to make all my staff temporarily redundant," the 40-year-old explained.

"I just couldn't take the risk anymore for my staff. My staff are my priority.

"I really didn't have a choice; I had to put their welfare first. I just hope I'm not the most hated person on Walney.

"I had to make the difficult decision but I did so with a really heavy heart."

Because of security measures Mrs Livesey said she is unable to accept help from volunteers.

She said she is continuing to accept cash payments and customers can receive cash from accounts over the counter.

"We rely on customers to be able to stay open because I'm classed as self-employed," she added.

"I don't get any payments from the post office for just being open; we have to serve customers in order to survive."

Post offices, along with banks, supermarkets, corner shops and newsagents, are among the outlets allowed to remain open amid the nationwide coronavirus lockdown announced by the government on Monday.

Mrs Livesey has owned the Salthouse Post Office since January 2016 and the Mill Lane store since April 2017.