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Thousands of revellers plan to mark Halloween by wearing masks bearing the face of chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty or health secretary Matt Hancock.
The government health adviser looks set to get a public ribbing at socially distanced parties across Britain this weekend over his gloomy forecasts during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Masks sporting his face have been selling out at websites on eBay and Amazon in the run up to Halloween.
Fancy dress stores said masks of the face of health secretary Matt Hancock, left were also flying off the shelves.
One web store had to restock after dozens snapped up the £2.89 face coverings in minutes.
One London-based fancy dress shop said: “Our Chris Whitty masks have become one of our best selling products. Good old Chris is a very popular choice with people wanting to celebrate Halloween this weekend.’’
Prof Whitty, 54, has become one of the most recognisable figures in Britain following his starring role in daily coronavirus briefings during the first wave of the pandemic.
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His own view of the value of face masks appeared to alter as the crisis unfolded.
In March he said: “Wearing a mask if you don’t have an infection reduces the risk almost not at all.’’
But two months later he admitted: “Wearing a face covering is an added precaution that may have some benefit in reducing the likelihood that a person with the infection passes it on.’’
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Most of the Halloween parties that can go ahead in non-locked down parts of the UK are likely to feature Covid-related costumes.
Another popular mask will be well known to Daily Star readers – it features the face of the Prime Minister’s controversial adviser Dominic Cummings.
But Halloween masks that look like the Covid-19 virus itself have been pulled from sale by Amazon after complaints they made light of the killer disease.
The masks, in bright green and red with grinning faces, had been advertised at £14.59 and hailed from Guangdong in China.
In the US Donald Trump masks are outselling those of his presidential challenger Joe Biden.
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