Contactless cash encouraged to avoid coronavirus spread

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Close-up of payment machine while human hand keeping plastic card in it

Health experts have advised shoppers to use contactless cards to avoid catching coronavirus from dirty notes as the virus is believed to survive on hard surfaces for between two hours and nine days.

According to World Health Organization spokesperson, contactless cards could ‘reduce the risk of transmission’. Notes change hands hundreds or even thousands of times during circulation and can pick up all manner of dirt and bugs as they’re passed around from one person to another.

Experts say the coronavirus could latch onto currency in the same way that it is able to live on hard surfaces like doorknobs, handrails and toilet handles. Chinese authorities are taking precautions by disinfecting and locking away banknotes. However, people are allowed to wash their hands after handling money and avoid touching their face.

The advice comes after employers have reportedly started to ban hot-desking, that is when people share desks and health officials may start urging people not to shake hands. Whereas in France, ministers have advised people to stop doing ‘la bise’, the traditional cheek-kiss greeting.

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