COVID conspiracy stickers which warn against wearing masks have been plastered on signs across Southend’s seafront, prompting fears it could lead to a rise in deaths.

Bright orange stickers and posters appeared on lamp posts and signs, telling the public to stop wearing masks, as they cause “chronic circulatory problems”. 

Some were forcibly removed on Monday evening by walkers.

But some still remain, and there are concerns the false statements could promote breaking the strict Covid restrictions.

This comes as the latest figures show there were 688 more cases recorded in Southend. The rate of infection now stands at 6,014 cases per 100,000 people.

James Vessey-Miller, the manager at the Railway Pub, who removed four of the stickers from the seafront, told the Echo they had “obviously been placed on signs where there was a high level of traffic.” 

He said: “They’re just a bit bigger than a postcard and were put there to grab people’s attention.

“I fear that people who are already on the fence about wearing masks, will see this and run with it.

“Naturally they are then less likely to wear a mask in a shop, and could catch the virus.

“If they then take it home, it could spread exponentially.”

The posters, which can be removed by contacting Southend Council, read:

“Wearing a mask constantly will cause you to breathe in carbon dioxide and trapped germs or bacteria, causing chronic circulatory problems, bacterial pneumonia and irreversible brain damage.”

More than a dozen coronavirus related deaths have been recorded across south Essex hospital trusts, the latest figures show.

Across both Basildon and Southend hospital trusts, 13 deaths related to Covid were reported in the latest 24-hour period.

Nine deaths were reported at the Basildon and Thurrock trust, while four were recorded at the Southend hospital trust.

Martin Terry, councillor in charge of community safety, slammed those responsible, and said if people die as a result of following the conspiracy theory, they will have

“blood on their hands.”

He added: “Sadly we saw 30 more deaths at Basildon and Southend hospitals this week. 

“These posters could see a spike in deaths if they are adhered to by people.

“It’s irresponsible and ridiculously dangerous. 

“Whoever is responsible needs to stop.”

Councillors have now warned against listening to the conspiracy theories.

Labour’s Matt Dent, who represents the Kursaal ward, said: “They are obviously untrue, medically and scientifically unsound, and promote conspiracy theories relating to Covid-19.

“Wearing a mask will cause none of these negative effects.

“What it might do is stop you getting Covid-19, or spreading it unwittingly to others.

“And at a time when the NHS is at breaking point and its staff exhausted due to volume of Covid patients, wearing a mask is a simple and easy thing you can do to help.

“It’s a sad truth that we have to be aware and ever-vigilant against this sort of dangerous misinformation, in addition to the virus.”

To report the posters, vist My Southend at”