Coronavirus: Beard sanitiser sales spike after NHS urged staff to shave

4 March 2020, 17:12 | Updated: 4 March 2020, 17:16

Beard sanitiser gel is one of the products which has seen a boost in sales as coronavirus fears spread and the NHS said face masks won't work with a beard.

The NHS says masks must be fitted flush to the face, which a beard would disrupt, hence the need for beard sanitiser.

Over 90,000 people worldwide have been infected by coronavirus with 51 confirmed cases in the UK.

On Tuesday the Government announced up to one in five workers in the UK could be off sick during the peak of the coronavirus outbreak.

Read more: Coronavirus UK: Do surgical face masks work to avoid virus symptoms?

The Government's battle plan emphasised the need for the public to take action, including washing their hands, checking in on relatives and neighbours and accepting that, in most cases, they will be told to stay at home if they have coronavirus.

The spread of the virus across the globe has created panic among the public, encouraging shoppers to stockpile essentials. 

One British marketplace claims medical supply sales have spiked in the last 30 days. said they had been an increase of 261% in the sale of the 10 medical supplies considered.

Read more: Coronavirus: What is a pandemic and how is one declared?

NHS staff have been asked to shave their beards to allow masks to fit more securely in a bid to limit the spread of coronavirus.

Southampton University NHS Trust sent a mass email to workers to tackle the "known problem" of ill-fitting masks on bearded faces.

Read more: ‘Don’t die, please buy’ Glasgow newsagent sells out entire stock of coronavirus face masks

The trust warned staff that facial hair “compromises the ability to protect any individual through a mask” and has so encouraged its frontline workers to consider shaving.

The online marketplace said they had seen a 27 per cent increase in sales of beard sanitiser gel since.

But, disposable medical masks have seen the largest increase in sales in the last 30 days, at 68 per cent. Followed by protective gloves (40 per cent) and multi-vitamins (32 per cent.)

Read more: Brighton shop owner asks customers to wear masks and gloves amid coronavirus fear

And paranoid parents are stockpiling for their children too. In the last 30 days, the website said they have seen a 15 per cent increase in sale of sanitiser spray for babies.

While sanitising accessory sales – such as the ‘clip & clean Disney moisturising hand sanitizer gel’ – have increased by 17 per cent.

In a worst case scenario, up to 80% of the population could become infected, with people in hospital with pneumonia and a relatively high death rate among the elderly and frail.

Globally, more than 90,000 cases have been confirmed, with more than 3,000 deaths.