'Corona stamp' [Photo: Leonhard Foeger]

Austria’s postal service has united two aspects of the coronavirus pandemic in a stamp printed on toilet paper that people can also, at a push, use for social distancing. The 2.75 euro “corona stamp” comes in sheets 10 cm wide, or a tenth of the 1 metre that the government advises members of the public to keep apart from each other, symbolised in official campaigns by a baby elephant.

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“If you put 10 stamp sheets end to end, you get a metre’s distance in total - or the length of a baby elephant. The famous baby animal is also printed on the stamp,” Austrian Post said in a statement on Friday. The novelty item is printed on three-ply toilet paper, in reference to the hoarding that occurred earlier this year, an urge that has recently started rearing its head again.

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Austrian Post has poked fun at current events before. In January it issued a Brexit stamp with the previously planned date of Britain’s departure from the European Union, March 29, 2019, crossed out and the new date of Jan. 31, 2020 underneath - an apparent wink at the drawn-out negotiations. The corona stamp will be sold at twice its face value, with the mark-up going to charity.