Austria issue Covid19 stamp… on toilet paper

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Austria have joined the many countries around the world to have issued stamps to help with the global fight against Coronavirus but, as is often the case with the innovative post office, their philatelic offering is a little different from other designs.

The new stamp, which depicts the baby elephant symbol currently being used in Austria to encourage social distancing, adds a further reference to the global pandemic, since it is printed on toilet paper.

Each stamp is the same size and shape of a standard sheet of toilet paper, reflecting the shortage of toilet paper that affected many countries at the start of the pandemic. The size of the stamp also allows customers to enforce social distancing, as ten stamps lined up next to each other measure one metre, the recommended social distance in some countries.


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According to Austria Post:

'In a collaboration with an Austrian toilet paper manufacturer, a self-adhesive foil made from paper manufactured from natural fibres was bonded to the reverse side of the toilet paper in order to make it more resistant to tearing and to make it possible to detach the stamp easily. Another original feature is the perforations of the stamp, which are typical for toilet paper.

'Keeping a distance of at least one metre between ourselves and other people should help to reduce the spread of the disease. The “baby elephant” is meant to help us judge and maintain this distance correctly and that is why it is also included as a symbol on the miniature sheet. Illustrations of other animals are shown for comparison, all representing different sizes.'

In the past Austrian stamps have been printed on unusual material including glass and embroidery material, however, the philatelic department are keen to point out that the new stamp is not making light of the worldwide crisis: 'the seriousness of the situation has not been forgotten: the supplement on the stamp of 2.75 Euro is to be used for a charitable cause.'

Details of Austria's Coronavirus stamp

Value: €2,75 + €2,75 
First day of issue: 30.10.2020 
Stamp size: 40,00 x 50,00 mm 
Graphic design: Marion Füllerer 
Printing: Variuscard Produktions- und Handels GmbH. 
Quantity: 300,000 stamps on sheets of 1 stamp