The spread of coronavirus infection COVID-19 urges the global community to search for countermeasures. The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) also strives to assist the banking system, businesses, and citizens in preventing the spread of the virus.
Considering the recommendations of the World Health Organization and the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, as well as the experience of other countries, the NBU suggests the following measures for personal protection when handling cash:
- wash your hands thoroughly after handling banknotes and coins, especially before eating
- avoid touching you face (eyes, nose, and mouth) after handling banknotes and coins
- resort to noncash settlements, contactless and mobile payments, Apple Pay, Google Pay, smartphones and smartwatches, and chip payment cards
- occasionally disinfect payment cards, mobile devices, ball pens or ink pens used to sign receipts and payment documents.
Now is the time, when the habit to use noncash payments can become helpful. During this period you can:
- order and pay for food and products online
- avoid visiting bank branches and opt for remote servicing
- pay for utilities using online banking or payment operators
- pay for the transport commute with a payment card or a fare card.
Highly-automated processing of hryvnia banknotes also favors effective containment of the virus.
In order to mitigate risk of coronavirus spread, the cash the NBU receives from banks will first be stored in the vault for 14 days. This term greatly exceeds the period for coronavirus survival on surfaces (from a few hours to a few days, according to provided data).
Only after this period expires, the banknotes will be treated in specialized high-speed machines. Banknotes fit for circulation will be packed in bundles and shrink wrap. At this stage banknote bundles undergo a thermal stress (160 degrees Celsius) in a shrinking furnace, also contributing to containing the virus spread.