Lancashire

Coronavirus: Boohoo blasted over £5 fashion face masks

Boohoo Image copyright Boohoo
Image caption The slogan fashion face mask had sold out but was removed from sale after complaints

Online fashion retailer Boohoo has been criticised for selling fashion face masks during the coronavirus pandemic.

The £5 masks came with messages such as "Eat, sleep, isolate, repeat" or "If you can read this, you are too close".

The Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (Usdaw) said they were "scandalous" and one NHS nurse said it was "disgusting".

Boohoo has apologised and removed the masks from sale. It insisted they were not designed for "protection".

One nurse, who works at a Manchester hospital, told the BBC: "It's disgusting that they are trying to cash in on the crisis especially when so many NHS staff don't have enough PPE.

"They should hang their heads in shame."

Usdaw's general secretary Paddy Lillis said: "Selling fashion clothing is not essential in a period of national emergency, but selling items that look like essential equipment is downright scandalous."

Usdaw also claims workers at its warehouse in Burnley, Lancashire are "terrified" of catching coronavirus and have complained about a lack social distancing.

Boohoo has rejected Usdaw's claims that its workers are at risk but admitted an error over the masks.

Image copyright Google Maps
Image caption Boohoo's warehouse is on an industrial estate in Burnley

A spokeswoman said that the fashion mask was "not suitable or designed to be used as protection and we are very sorry for any upset".

She added: "Our distribution centre in Burnley has extensive social distancing and hygiene measures in place to protect the health and wellbeing of our teams. "

Boohoo employs about 2,000 staff at its warehouse.

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