A man wearing a shark costume has been fined by Austrian police for breaking the country's recently introduced anti-burqa laws, according to reports. The man had donned the costume to promote the McShark electronics store in Vienna when he was approached by police and asked to remove the head.

When he refused, he was issued with a fine for flouting the new law, which says people's faces must not be covered from hairline to chin while out in public.

Fines for covering your face in public, which were brought in Austria in an apparent attempt to counteract the rise of the far-right Freedom party in 2016, can be up to €150 (£133).

Advertising agency Warda Network revealed their mascot was fined in a post on Facebook.

It read: "Today we were at the McShark store opening and our shark mascot received a fine from the Vienna police because of the new ban on face-coverings! Life is not easy."

Eugen Prosquill, managing director of the advertising agency, told the Heute newspaper he is considering no longer using the shark costume in future. He added: "It would be a shame if there were no more mascots from now on."

Austria is the latest European country to introduce a ban on full face veils, having brought in the new law on 1 October. However, there is still some confusion as to what the law actually covers.

According to Vienna daily Der Standard, cyclists have been stopped by police for covering their faces with a scarf.

France was the first country to implement the ban in April 2011, with Belgium, Bulgaria and Switzerland also imposing their own ban.

Denmark is set to become the next European country to ban burqas in public after a majority of lawmakers backed proposals to forbid face coverings.