Restaurants that have stayed open during the coronavirus outbreak are encouraging customers to pay with credit or debit cards and payment apps.
An article in Eater notes many restaurants are taking to social media to ask customers to consider paying digitally or with a card to limit the exchange of germs during transactions.
Eater cites a post on Instagram from The Purple House in Maine where the restaurant wrote “we would ask as well that you consider paying with credit card or Mobilepay to avoid cash handling as a means of protection for our community.” The article also cites similar requests from many others, including Los Angeles pop-up Zoe Food Party which notes Venmo is “preferred until further notice.” Several other dining establishments around the United States have followed suit and made similar requests.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said this month that consumers should avoid handling cash and switch to contactless payments whenever possible in order to minimize the spread of coronavirus.
“We would advise people to wash their hands after handling banknotes, and avoid touching their face,” WHO officials said in an interview with the Telegraph. “When possible it would also be advisable to use contactless payments to reduce the risk of transmission.”
WHO notes the move is necessary because coronavirus could be carried on the surface of money for several days.