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COVID-19 26th March: Cash handling on public transport

26 March 2020

The SIC takes guidance on cash-handling from the World Health Organisation.

Shetland Islands Council is clarifying its position around cash-handling, particularly on public transport, e.g. ferries and buses.Its advice is that people should wash their hands after handling money, especially if they are then handling or eating food. There has been no public health advice against using money - the WHO has indeed issued a ‘mythbuster’, which can be found here - https://fullfact.org/health/coronavirus-WHO-cash-comments/

Recognising the concerns of passengers and staff, the Council has been undertaking COVID19 risk assessments to manage this perceived risk, and all control measures which have been identified are being implemented.

Councillor Ryan Thomson chairs both the SIC’s Environment and Transport Committee, and the transport partnership ZetTrans: “I’m aware that there is a misconception that the WHO has advised folk not to use cash for payments – this is categorically not true.

“I entirely understand that, in this time of uncertainty and fear, misinformation can easily be shared as fact, but the Council must make its decisions, and take action, based on evidence and good scientific advice.

“We will not simply stop taking fares on our ferries and buses. We cannot take action based on bad science. The advice is clear - stay at home and do not travel unless it is absolutely essential; follow the guidance to stay at home if you have symptoms for seven days and for 14 days if anyone in your household has symptoms; and follow good hand hygiene practices.

“It should not have to be repeated that you shouldn’t travel if you have a fever or cough, and take the recommended precautions if you must be an area with other people. First and foremost, however - don’t travel unless you absolutely have to.”