Coronavirus: Man told snakeskin isn’t a legitimate face covering – ‘especially when still attached to the snake’

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The man was seen with a light brown serpent wrapped around his mouth and neck, but “no one batted an eyelid”.

A passenger who was spotted wearing a snake as a mask while travelling on a bus has been warned it is not a legitimate face covering.

The man was seen with a light brown serpent with diamond-shaped markings on its skin wrapped around his mouth and neck on a bus from Swinton to Manchester on Monday.

One passenger, who asked not to be named, said at first she thought the man was wearing a “funky mask” before she spotted the creature slithering over the hand rails.

                              Coronavirus: Man told snakeskin isn't a legitimate face covering - 'especially when still attached to the snake'

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The reptile did not seem to be bothering anyone else, she said, adding that she found the incident “really funny”.

She said: “No one batted an eyelid.”

It is not known if he was challenged by the driver over his choice of covering.

Pictures showed the man was not wearing a mask under the snake.

It is mandatory for all passengers to use a face covering on public transport during the coronavirus pandemic, unless they are exempt for reasons of age, health or disability.

A Transport for Greater Manchester spokesperson said: “Government guidance clearly states that this needn’t be a surgical mask, and that passengers can make their own or wear something suitable, such as a scarf or bandana.

“While there is a small degree of interpretation that can be applied to this, we do not believe it extends to the use of snakeskin – especially when still attached to the snake.”

The species of the snake is not known, but if it is a venomous breed, its bite could destroy blood cells, cause blood clots, or excessive bleeding and destroy tissue.

If a bite is not treated immediately they can be fatal within 30 minutes, depending on the toxicity level of the venom and the type of snake.


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