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Photograph: Spencer Griffiths

The Tube Tube: the £95 social-distancing invention nobody asked for

This season’s must-have accessory is here

Isabelle Aron

Remember when we’d think nothing of being nestled under somebody’s armpit in a sweaty Central line carriage? Yeah, those days are gone. Who knew we’d miss them? Now, we live in a world where the Tube Tube exists. What is it? It’s, erm, a tube, that you wear... on the tube.

Also known as the (slightly less catchy) Plastock 360 Person Screen, it’s a 360-degree protective screen made from 5mm-thick acrylic plastic, which covers your head and upper body. The product is made to order to your measurements and even includes a cut-out section on each side so that it can rest on your shoulders. Priced at £95 excluding VAT, the Tube Tube doesn’t come cheap, though.

It’s being pitched as an alternative to the more trad face masks that anyone travelling on public transport is required to wear, as of this week. 

If you don’t fancy splashing out, how about fashioning your own? Let’s be honest, seeing a load of people wearing Tupperware or buckets on their heads on the tube platform wouldn’t be the weirdest thing to happen this year, would it?

Check out these nine reusable masks created by London makers.

Read our interview with a TfL worker from our View from the Frontline series.

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