By Aisling Finn on Tuesday 3 March 2020
Covid-19 can reportedly cling to banknotes for a number of days.
The latest development in the coronavirus saga could actually give a bit of a boost to the world’s fintech community.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has now urged people to use contactless to avoid coming into contact with potentially contaminated banknotes.
A WHO spokesperson told The Telegraph: “We know that money changes hands frequently and can pick up all sorts of bacteria and viruses, we would advise people to wash their hands after handling banknotes, and avoid touching their face.”
“When possible it would also be advisable to use contactless payments to reduce the risk of transmission.”
The Bank of England seems less concerned about the spread of the coronavirus through banknotes, a spokesperson said: “Like any other surface that large numbers of people come into contact with, notes can carry bacteria or viruses.”
“However, the risk posed by handling a polymer note is no greater than touching any other common surface, such as handrails, doorknobs or credit cards.”
This news comes just a few weeks after it was revealed that both China and Korea began to disinfect and isolate used banknotes to help prevent the spread of the virus, however, there are no current plans for this to happen here in the UK.