WASHINGTON – Dollar bills from China are going into quarantine due to the coronavirus epidemic, as the Federal Reserve is putting extra precautions on money coming into the United States.
The new procedures “provide for a longer holding period” so that currency coming from China or anywhere in Asia will be held for at least “seven to 10 days before the deposits are processed,” a Fed spokeswoman confirmed Friday.
The cash handling procedures took effect Feb. 21. In normal circumstances, bills would be held for anywhere from five to 60 days, the spokeswoman said.
If the epidemic continues to spread and U.S. health authorities or the State Department “identifies specific additional countries of risk, the Fed is prepared to implement additional modified procedures.”
Have no fear: there is unlikely to be a shortage of cash as the Fed “always has a contingency stock of new currency that can be circulated to the public should the need ever arise.”