THE limit for in-store card transactions by contactless-enabled cards is to increase soon.
At the beginning of next month, the limit will change from £30 to £45.
Why is the change happening?
The move has been name to help reduce physical contact with keypads on chip and pin machines due to the coronavirus crisis.
It is hoped the increased limit will help in the fight against Covid-19.
When will the change take place?
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said the move would begin on April 1, 2020, but warned that implementation in some shops may take longer.
ALSO READ: UPDATE: Parking tickets cancelled for restaurant delivering food during pandemic
What has the British Retail Consortium said about this?
BRC head of payments policy, Andrew Cregan, said: “The last contactless limit increase to £30 took two years to implement but, given the extraordinary circumstances we face today, this new £45 limit will be rolled-out from next week.
“Some shops will take longer to make the necessary changes, given the strain they’re under. In the meantime, most customers can continue to make contactless payments for higher amounts using their smart phone.”
Coronavirus: the facts from the World Health Organisation and the NHS
- What is coronavirus?
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can affect lungs and airways. It is caused by a virus called coronavirus.
- What caused coronavirus?
The outbreak started in Wuhan in China in December 2019 and it is thought that the virus, like others of its kind, has come from animals.
ALSO READ: Prince Charles tests positive for coronavirus
- How is it spread?
As this is such a new illness, experts still aren’t sure how it is spread. But, similar viruses are spread in cough droplets. Therefore, covering your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing, and disposing of used tissues straight away is advised. Viruses like coronavirus cannot live outside the body for very long.
- What are the symptoms?
The NHS states that the symptoms are: a dry cough, high temperature and shortness of breath - but these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness. Look out for flu-like symptoms, such as aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose and a sore throat. It’s important to remember that some people may become infected but won’t develop any symptoms or feel unwell.
- What precautions can be taken?
Washing your hands with soap and water thoroughly. The NHS also advises to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze; put used tissues in the bin immediately and try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell. Also avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth unless your hands are clean.
- Government advice
As of Monday, March 23, the prime minister has put the UK into lockdown and instructed all citizens to stay at home. People can only leave their homes to exercise once a day, go shopping for food and medication, travel for medical needs or to care for a vulnerable person, and travel to work only if essential. Police will be able to enforce these restrictions.
All non-essential shops will close with immediate effect, as will playgrounds, places of worship and libraries. Large events or gatherings of more than two people cannot go ahead, including weddings and celebrations. Funerals can only be attended by immediate family. Children of separated parents can go between both parents' homes.
Anyone with a cough or cold symptoms needs to self-isolate with their entire household for 14 days.
The government has now instructed bars, restaurants, theatres and non-essential businesses to close and will review on a ‘month to month’ basis. Schools closed from Friday 20 March for the foreseeable future, and exams have been cancelled.
The over 70s or anyone who is vulnerable or living with an underlying illness are being asked to be extra careful and stay at home to self-isolate. People with serious underlying health conditions will be contacted and strongly advised to undertake "shielding" for 12 weeks.
For more information on government advice, please check their website.
- Should I avoid public places?
You should now avoid public places and any non-essential travel. Travel abroad is also being advised against for the next 30 days at least, and many European countries have closed their borders.
- What should I do if I feel unwell?
Don’t go to your GP but instead call NHS 111 or look online at the coronavirus service that can tell you if you need medical help and what to do next.
- When to call NHS 111
NHS 111 should be used if you feel unwell with coronavirus symptoms, have been in a country with a high risk of coronavirus in the last 14 days or if you have been in close contact with someone with the virus.