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30 October 2020

Social Distancing (COVID-19; semi-postal stamp)

Austria: Social Distancing (COVID-19 semi-postal), 30 October 2020. Image from my personal collection.

Technical Specifications:

Release date: 30.10.2020
Print Run: 300.000
Type of printing: Screen (toilet paper on self-adhesive foil)
Design: Marion Füllerer
Printer: Variuscard Production and Trade GmbH
Size: 140 x 90 mm
Colors: Black | Red | Silver metallic
Format: Souvenir Sheet
Emission: Semi-Postal
Perforation: Rouletted
Gum: Self-Adhesive
Denomination: 275 + 275 ct

‘Corona’ 2.75+2.75 block with surcharge
SKU: 0220470
The brand block “Corona” is available individually and with the purchase of three pieces as a continuous 3-strip.

Shipping will take place from 30.10.2020.

The Corona pandemic has been occupying us for months. An original brand block now reminds us how the associated measures have changed our everyday lives.

Austria: Social Distancing (COVID-19 semi-postal), 30 October 2020. Image from my personal collection (digitally cropped).

This issue received a great deal of media attention.  The article reprinted below from the CNN website provided the most detail:

Austria’s postal service is printing special Covid-19 stamps — on toilet paper

This article, from The Jakarta Post, is typical of the majority of press reports on this release, deriving from Reuters news service:


Austria prints a postage stamp to remember COVID-19 by, on toilet paper


Vienna, Austria  /  Mon, October 26, 2020  /  03:24 pm
A letter with a so called ‘corona stamp’ attached is seen in a post office, as the 2.75 euro ‘corona stamp’ is printed on three-ply toilet paper and sold individually as part of a 10 cm wide sheet, in Vienna, Austria, on October 23, 2020. (REUTERS/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 meter that the government advises members of the public to keep apart from each other, symbolized in official campaigns by a baby elephant.

“If you put 10 stamp sheets end to end, you get a meter’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.

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.

Souvenir Sheet Cancelled to Order (CTO):

Strip of 3 Souvenir Sheets:

First Day Cover:

Rear of Souvenir Sheet, showing self-adhesive backing:

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