Adorning the stamps is a picture of a baby elephant, adopted by the Austrian government at the beginning of the pandemic as a symbol of the one-metre (three feet) distance from others needed to help prevent transmission of the virus.
“If you put ten of the stamps end to end you get the length of a baby elephant,” explained Austrian Post spokesman Markus Leitgeb.
The stamps are presented in block format in the size of a standard 10 centimetre-wide piece of toilet paper, complete with perforations to enable a smaller piece to be torn off as a standalone stamp.
There is no need to moisten the stamps, which come with an adhesive backing already attached. A total of 300,000 copies have already been printed.
The stamps, made from recycled paper, were originally meant to be issued earlier in the pandemic but a lack of absorbent paper put the project on hold.
They will go on sale on Friday for the price of 5.50 euros, half of which will go to charity. “We hope we've found a good balance between making people smile but still being useful,” said Leitgeb.
Very witty: Austria's postal service prints Covid-19 stamps on toilet paperhttps://t.co/5ukfXEQEJy
— Violet Lemay (@violetlemay) October 24, 2020
Austria prints a postage stamp to remember COVID-19 by, on toilet paper https://t.co/YbhZOMW2Zp
— Calgary Herald (@calgaryherald) October 24, 2020
The baby elephant returns
The stamp includes Austria’s famous ‘baby elephant’ – a symbol in the fight against the virus.
This has been discussed in Austrian media as the ‘return of the baby elephant’. During the first wave of the pandemic, Austria sought to encourage participation with the social distancing requirement by telling people to stay ‘a baby elephant apart’.
People are now legally required to stay a baby elephant’s distance apart from each other in public, provided that elephant is one-metre long.