A man demonstrates how to put on a surgical gloves and other protective clothing during a tour of a COVID-19 evaluation clinic in Montreal, Tuesday, March 10, 2020. Dirty money has taken on a new meaning as the war on the novel coronavirus ramps up. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Retailers careful handling cash while WHO says currency doesn’t transmit COVID

The Bank of Canada ‘strongly’ urged retailers to continue accepting cash

Dirty money has taken on a new meaning as the war on the novel coronavirus ramps up.

Some retailers are taking more precautions when accepting cash during the pandemic, says Karl Littler, a spokesman for the Retail Council of Canada, which represents more than 45,000 businesses.

“The approach has been to issue disposable gloves to tellers who’ve been handling cash,” he said in an interview.

“There are some merchants who are saying we will accept cash but only in one or two lanes and those lanes will have particularly deep attention to sanitization.”

The Liquor Control Board of Ontario said in a news release this week that in addition to increased sanitization, stores would limit the handling of money and ask customers to pay with credit or debit cards when possible.

The Bank of Canada, meanwhile, ”strongly” urged retailers on Wednesday to continue accepting cash to ensure people have access to the goods and services they need.

The risks posed from handling bank notes are no greater than those posed by touching other common surfaces, such as doorknobs, kitchen counters and handrails, it said.

“Refusing cash could put an undue burden on people who depend on cash as a means of payment,” it said.

The Canadian Bankers Association says on its website that while consumers are increasingly turning to digital channels and electronic payment methods, the use of cash is still prevalent.

The People’s Bank of China said in February that at the height of the epidemic in that country, cash was being disinfected and stored for more than 14 days before being put back into circulation.

In South Korea, the central bank took all bank notes out of circulation for two weeks or, in some cases, burned paper money.

Margaret Harris, a spokeswoman for the COVID-19 team at the World Health Organization, said there is no evidence that cash is transmitting the novel coronavirus.

But people should “always” wash their hands after using cash, she said in an interview.

“Cash is known to carry a lot of bacteria and viruses. … You should always wash your hands after handling cash and before eating or touching your mouth, nose and eyes.”

READ MORE: 3-in-10 Canadians admit they aren’t practicing social distancing amid COVID-19, says poll

— With files from the Associated Press.

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nanaimo, Royal Jubilee to be Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 frontline hospitals

Other Island hospitals will be admitting COVID-19 patients and will be used in a support role

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

West Coast restaurateurs feeding the front-line

“My community was my main focus out of the gate.”

Here’s how to talk to people who aren’t taking physical distancing seriously

Approach the conversation with empathy says conflict expert

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

75-year-old woman rescued from Cowichan Lake

Victim taken to hospital, but expected to recover

Not to become bored the game plan for COVID-19

Board game with an Island map developed by Island family just the remedy for filling time at home

As 500K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Introverted and extroverted kids likely to react differently to COVID-19 restrictions

B.C. child psychologist says your parenting approach can’t be one-size fits all in social isolation

Most Read