Amazon vows to remove ‘hugely distasteful’ Halloween coronavirus masks

Amazon is yet to remove the 'hugely distasteful' coronavirus-themed Halloween masks from its website.

The internet giant has vowed to take the product off the site after they were criticised by horrified parents.

It came as UK police chiefs warned trick-or-treating and Bonfire Night may need to be cancelled due to the pandemic.

The latex masks, which are being sold for as much as £28.29, resemble an illustration of the Covid-19 virus – but with big haunting eyes and jagged teeth.

They are being listed on the online marketplace by a number of sellers based in China and are said to be "suitable for adults and teenagers".

One seller wrote in the product description that the mask will leave an "amazing and lasting impression". It comes after the worldwide coronavirus death toll passed one million people this week.

One of the listings, which was still online at the time of writing, says it can be worn by anyone aged seven and over. It says the 'corona mask' is suitable for 'special occasions such as masquerade, role-playing, Halloween, punk-themed parties, carnival, Easter or decorative clothing and so on.

Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients' Association, said: "These masks shows a terrible lapse of judgment by the manufacturers and sellers, and I hope they will be removed from sale quickly.

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"I've not doubt the great majority of people will find them hugely distasteful, and I can't imagine that many people would wish to wear one."

An Amazon spokesman said: "All sellers must follow our selling guidelines and those who do not will be subject to action including potential removal of their account.

"These products are being removed."

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Amazons has been contacted for why the product is still available to purchase on its site.

It came as British police urged Halloween trick-or-treaters to give it a miss this year to avoid spreading the virus. They also want organisers of Bonfire Night celebrations to cancel firework displays.

Martin Head, head of the National Police Chiefs' Council, said: "There will be a lot of messaging going out in relation to Halloween, it's probably the next big event.

"I have no doubt forces will be planning operations around a normal Halloween weekend in any event because of all the various things that happen.

"I am fairly confident that big events around bonfires will not be running, but that will be matters for local authorities.

"But I will be very, very surprised if any of that is going on. I imagine there will be from a local level, from police forces and local authorities, quite a bit of marketing campaigns to get the message across to people that it would be fairly foolish to try to do this in the way that it traditionally is done and the implications of that."

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