Canada’s central bank is urging retailers to continue accepting cash as COVID-19 continues to spread across the country.
While some consumers and businesses have stopped using cash to limit their exposure to the virus, this “could put an undue burden on people who depend on cash as a means of payment,” according to a statement issued by the Bank of Canada on March 18.
“The bank strongly advocates that retailers continue to accept cash to ensure Canadians can have access to the goods and services they need.”
The risks posed from handling Canadian banknotes “are no greater than those posed by touching other common surfaces such as doorknobs, kitchen counters and handrails,” adds the statement.
“Canadians handling cash should follow the public health guidelines on COVID-19 and wash their hands as they would do for other activities.”
While a representative of the World Health Organization recently told The Telegraph people should “use contactless payments to reduce the risk of transmission,” the specialized health agency has since clarified its advice, urging people to wash their hands after handling money.
The bank is working with financial institutions to limit the disruption to the cash supply throughout the pandemic.
“We continue to monitor developments closely, including the latest information and advice from the Government of Canada and the World Health Organization, and remain in close contact with relevant stakeholders, partner organizations and health authorities.”