Fed Puts Bills Returning From Asia in Quarantine

Noah Love
March 24, 2020

According to Reuters, the U.S. dollar is facing the same fate as many travelers returning home from abroad. The Federal Reserve System is quarantining physical dollars as they are returned from Asia before recirculating them in the United States or sending them abroad. A spokesperson for the Federal Reserve told Reuters this was being done as a precaution against the spread of the virus, as death tolls continue to expand globally. It is not yet disinfecting or destroying any returned cash as in China and other countries.

The policy has been in effect since February 21, and is another measure to help curb the spread of the virus and flatten the curve. According to CNN Business, South Korea is being even more aggressive by taking out all bank notes from circulation for two weeks, and burning some of them to reduce the spread. There is currently no sign the U.S. will follow the example. This all follows massive Chinese efforts to disinfect and destroy returned currency; the suspension of events, including coins shows in Singapore and Munich; and the closure of facilities where crowds of people gather.

The U.S. dollar is the de-facto currency in many countries internationally and a staple in global trade. The Federal Reserve of the United States distributes the cash internationally based on demand from various banks or governments.

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