Dirty banknotes may be spreading the coronavirus, World Health Organisation warns

Chinese authorities last month ordered banknotes to be disinfected over fears they could be spreading Covid-19 CREDIT: Xu Jinbai for China Daily/Xu Jinbai for China Daily

By Bill Gardner

People have been warned to wash their hands after using banknotes – and if possible to use contactless payments instead

Banknotes may be spreading the new coronavirus so people should try to use contactless payments instead, the World Health Organisation has said.

Customers should wash their hands after touching banknotes because infectious Covid-19 may cling to the surface for a number of days, the UN agency warned on Monday night.

To prevent the spread of the disease, people should use contactless technology where possible, a spokesman added.

Last night the Bank of England acknowledged that banknotes “can carry bacteria or viruses” and urged people to regularly wash their hands.

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