The following is excerpted from the Church Newsroom. To read the full letter, CLICK HERE.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We take very seriously the health and safety of our missionaries and of those they teach. The rapidly developing travel advisories and restrictions that are emerging around the world present significant logistical and other challenges. Therefore, the following temporary adjustments are being made:
- In the coming weeks, based upon world conditions, substantial numbers of missionaries will likely need to be returned to their home nations to continue their service. This will be done in a systematic way based on the urgency of travel restrictions, the level of COVID-19 concern, and other considerations.
- Returning missionaries will go through a 14-day period of self-isolation and then may be assigned to serve within their home country, based on local conditions.
- The term of service for missionaries returning to or serving within the United States will likely be reduced to accommodate the large number of missionaries returning from around the world.
- Missionary training centers (MTCs) worldwide will not receive new missionaries.
To read the full letter, CLICK HERE.
The Church has also released the following statement regarding the self-isolation guidelines for missionaries and their families upon returning home:
As many missionaries return home in the coming weeks due to the COVID-19 outbreak, they will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days, regardless of where they traveled from. This is an important precaution in accordance with guidelines from the World Health Organization and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), even though many of these missionaries have already been self-isolating or come from areas where the virus is not as prevalent.
Parents or guardians should go to the airport alone to meet a returning missionary and practice safe social distancing while there. That way, the missionary is able to properly begin self-isolation. Upon returning home, missionaries should strictly follow the self-isolation recommendations of the CDC which include limiting contact with others and avoiding leaving their homes for any reason. They are encouraged to stay in a well-ventilated room, preferably alone. If that isn’t possible, the missionary should stay 6 feet away from others in the room. They should use good hygiene and regularly wash their hands. If a missionary develops any symptoms of a respiratory illness, they should contact a local health provider.
We ask families, friends, and community members to help support and encourage missionaries to follow these guidelines to help prevent any potential spread of illness and to keep missionaries and those around them safe.