On Monday 9th March, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales updated its advice to Parishes regarding the necessary measures to be taken to combat the spread of the Coronavirus.
1) No sign of peace at Mass.
2) No receiving Holy Communion from the chalice (except for the priest).
3) Those who choose to receive Holy Communion on the tongue should be encouraged to receive on the hand instead. This represents an act of loving charity to their community.
4) Holy water stoups in churches are to be emptied.
5) Ministers should sanitise their hands before and after distributing Holy Communion.
6) Shared towels should not be used in toilet areas or the sacristy.
7) Shared hymnbooks and Mass books should not be used. Single-use Mass sheets may be used and disposed-of immediately after.
8) Everyone attending Mass should sanitise their hands as they come into church using sanitised gel dispensers.
9) Those most vulnerable (elderly, people with weakened immune systems and long term conditions like cancer, diabetes and heart disease) should refrain from large parish gatherings (including Mass) and stay at home.
10) Anyone with cold or flu symptoms should not attend Mass, the other Sacraments, or Parish events. They may have an ordinary cold, but it is better to be on the safe side.
11) Suspend catering (teas, coffees, etc) at large parish gatherings where multiple people touch mugs, utensils, biscuits etc.