UK's first face mask vending machines launch as shops re-open

·2-min read
The face masks in Hamleys have limited edition Hamleys designs on them. (MASKEY)
The face masks in Hamleys have limited edition Hamleys designs on them. (MASKEY)
All the latest coronavirus news and updates. (Yahoo UK)
All the latest coronavirus news and updates. (Yahoo UK)

As we adjust to the new normal amid the coronavirus pandemic, face masks are becoming a staple part of our everyday life.

The face coverings are compulsory on public transport and anywhere where it’s a struggle to keep socially distanced.

With shops in England now re-opening, there’s a bigger uptake than ever.

In fact, face mask vending machines are just one of the many changes we’re going to see on our high-streets as we ease out of the lockdown restrictions.

Get used to seeing these vending machines popping up. (MASKEY)
Get used to seeing these vending machines popping up. (MASKEY)

Face mask vending machines were not something we would’ve expected to see on the high street at the beginning of this year, but this is our new reality.

Read more: The public react as stores re-open in England

MASKEY, the brand behind the vending machines, has even installed one in famous London toy store, Hamleys, which features special edition Hamleys branded masks.

The brand launched in May 2020, just before the government begun urging people to wear face masks in certain settings and they already have machines in ten shopping centres across London, Essex and Surrey and also by 3 underground stations Loughton, Chigwell and Woodford.

At the moment, leaving the house without your mask is likened to leaving without your wallet - particularly if you’re going on public transport.

Now, if you get caught short, these vending machines are ready to help.

Read more: Here’s what bars will look like when they re-open

Designed and made in London, the masks cost between £8-10 and are available in “an array of playful prints and colour”.

Much like many other businesses, the new company has had to adapt to the changing landscape because of coronavirus.

“All masks are made in London by a machinist wearing a face mask and gloves and within seconds of being completed, steamed at over 90 degrees and then instantly placed into a sealed plastic wallet.

“No one can enter the factory without a face mask and gloves and the entrance is protected by a double entry / exit system.” A MASKEY spokesperson explains.

The company was born after founder, Adam Freeman, noted a decline in vending machines over the course of lockdown and decided to repurpose them.

Read more: 8.5% coronavirus patients “do not develop antibodies”

“He also made all payment and keypads contactless for extra safety,” the spokesperson said.

She continued: “10% of the profit from each sale will be donated to the charity Lenderhand, which is currently supporting the NHS along with individuals and families in need during this crisis.

“MASKEY have also been able to give jobs to seamstress's, engineers and local people that were out of work due to lockdown.”

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