Medical experts have confirmed that cash, including coins is safe to use – there is no evidence that either coins or cash spread COVID-19.
The World Health Organization has rejected reports that it warned COVID-19 could be spread through handling cash. WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib said, ‘WHO did NOT say banknotes would transmit COVID-19, nor have we issued any warnings or statements about this.’
COVID-19 is transmitted through droplets caused by infected people coughing, sneezing or speaking, which can land on other people or common surfaces. You can be infected by breathing in the virus if you are within one metre of a person who has COVID-19, or by touching a contaminated surface and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth before washing your hands.
The best defence against these droplets is to avoid touching your face, sanitise the surfaces of any items that you touch, and regularly wash or sanitise your hands.
This applies equally if you use cash or cash-free methods such as contactless payments. Be sure to also wash your hands after using phones, credit cards, keypads or touchscreens.
Being able to keep using cash during this period is vitally important for many people, particularly disadvantaged people such as those with literacy issues, on low incomes, and without regular access to phone or internet services.
We urge retailers not to discriminate against people who prefer to use physical currency and to continue accepting cash to ensure people have access to the goods and services they need. Refusing cash could put an unnecessary burden on people who depend on cash as a means of payment.
More information on cash and coronavirus is provided in the link below.
No, cash does not carry coronavirus, says WHO, 9 March 2020