COVID-19 Restrictions Increases Temple Closures to 58


This article is frequently updated with new information. Note time stamps for most recent additions.

This page provides updates on how COVID-19 (coronavirus) is impacting The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its global membership. The Church is monitoring developments and taking steps to comply with best practices and direction provided by public health organizations of various national governments.

See how COVID-19 is impacting Saints worldwide. Click the links below to read the latest. Also see updates in other languages.

Church Aid (Updated February 4)

Since its initial donation of medical masks, goggles and gowns to China, the Church has received numerous requests for similar assistance. Those requests are being evaluated and addressed as the Church is able to do so, although our ability to supply and deliver those products is limited by a global demand for such resources.

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Church Distribution Retail Stores (Updated March 20 at 10 a.m. MDT)

Distribution retail stores are adjusting their services in conjunction with Church direction and government guidelines. Effective March 16, 2020, most Distribution retail stores will have reduced hours of operations to support temples that are performing live ordinances. Church-service missionaries are encouraged to stay home until store hours return to normal.

The following Church Distribution retail stores are closed due to COVID-19 restrictions:

  • Accra, Ghana
  • Antananarivo, Madagascar
  • Arequipa, Peru
  • Asunción Paraguay
  • Bangalore, India
  • Barrigada, Guam
  • Belize
  • Bern, Switzerland
  • Brasilia, Brazil
  • Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo
  • Brisbane Australia
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Caracas, Venezuela
  • Cardston, Canada
  • Cebu City, Philippines
  • Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Cordoba, Argentina
  • Costa Mesa Deseret Book
  • Durban, South Africa
  • Frankfurt, Germany
  • Freiberg, Germany
  • Guatemala City, Guatemala
  • Guayaquil, Ecuador
  • Hamilton, New Zealand
  • Harare, Zimbabwe
  • Hartford, Connecticut
  • Helsinki, Finland
  • Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Kampala, Uganda
  • Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Kyiv, Ukraine
  • La Paz, Bolivia
  • Lima, Peru
  • London, England
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Lusaka, Zambia
  • Madrid, Spain
  • Malaysia
  • Manhattan, New York
  • Manila, Philippines
  • Maputo, Mozambique
  • Montreal, Canada
  • Nairobi, Kenya
  • Oakland, California
  • Panama City, Panama
  • Paris, France
  • Phnom Penh, Cambodia
  • Phonpei, Micronesia
  • Porto Alegre, Brazil
  • Praia, Cape Verde
  • Quetzaltenango, Guatemala
  • Quito, Ecuador
  • Redland, California
  • Rome, Italy
  • Sacramento, California Deseret Book
  • Salt Lake City City Creek Deseret Book
  • San Diego, California
  • San Jose, Costa Rica
  • San Salvador, El Salvador
  • Santa Cruz, Bolivia
  • Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
  • Sapporo, Japan
  • Seoul, Korea
  • St. Louis, Missouri
  • Sydney Australia
  • Tahiti
  • Tegucigalpa, Honduras
  • Tokyo, Japan
  • Toronto, Canada
  • Trujillo, Peru
  • Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
  • Uplands, California

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CES Guidelines (Updated March 12)

The leadership of the Church Educational System has adopted temporary guidelines which will be effective March 16, 2020.

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Church Historic Sites (Updated March 16)

All Church historic sites are closed. This includes the following locations:

  • Cove Fort Historic Site
  • Joseph Smith Birthplace Memorial
  • Kanesville Tabernacle
  • Kirtland historic sites
  • Missouri historic sites
  • Mormon Trail Center at Historic Winter Quarters
  • Nauvoo historic site and Carthage Jail
  • New York historic sites
  • Pennsylvania historic sites
  • San Diego Mormon Battalion Historic Site
  • St. George area historic sites
  • Mormon Handcart Historic Site in Wyoming

At some places, such as the Sacred Grove, grounds will remain open so visitors can walk through. However, guided tours will not be provided at these locations.

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Church Workforce (Updated March 16)

Employees of the Church should follow the guidelines provided here and any other direction provided by their area presidency.

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General Conference (Updated March 19 at 3:30 p.m. MDT)

In a letter March 19 to Latter-day Saints around the globe, the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles announced additional updates to the April 2020 general conference. Each session will be broadcast from a small auditorium on Temple Square. The First Presidency will preside and conduct those sessions, and only those who have been invited to speak or pray will attend. The music for the conference has been pre-recorded. Read the complete letter.

In a letter sent to members on March 11, Church leaders announced a significant change to the format of the April 2020 general conference. Sessions will be done virtually. Members will not gather at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City or at stake centers or meetinghouses in areas where COVID-19 is active.

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Missionary Work (Updated March 20 at 4:30 p.m. MDT)

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. This and more is detailed in a letter from Church leaders on March 20, 2020.

Missionaries will continue to be called to serve and assigned to labor in missions worldwide. Missionary recommendations will continue to be received, and missionary assignments for worldwide service will continue to be made. However, some missionaries may be reassigned, and young men serving in the United States and Canada may conclude their service three months early.

All missionaries scheduled to enter missionary training centers in Provo, Utah, or Preston, England, will be trained remotely by video conference. Missionaries from regions where government officials are restricting activity will also be trained by video conference.

The Church is taking steps to reduce the number of missionaries in areas where coronavirus is of particular concern. These steps give mission presidents more flexibility to ensure missionaries are effective and safe and that there is adequate space to house missionaries if they are moved out of cities where there are greater concerns about infection.

Young missionaries with health issues and senior missionaries may be released from service. These exceptions apply to the following areas:

  • 2 missions in the Europe East Area (as of March 18)
  • 6 missions in the North America Northeast Area (as of March 16)
  • 22 missions in the Europe Area (as of March 12)

Missionaries who are not native to certain locations will return to their home countries. This instruction applies to the following locations:

  • Africa (as of March 18)

    Due to the spread of COVID-19 and new travel regulations instituted by several African governments, missionaries currently serving in most missions in Africa who are not native to those regions will be temporarily moved. Missionaries from outside Africa will return home to self-isolate for 14 days as a precaution. Following that, they will receive new temporary assignments in their home countries based on capacity and need. Missionaries from Africa will travel directly to their new assignments in their home countries. Any missionaries who are unable to return home due to travel restrictions will continue serving in their current mission.

    These measures apply to all missions in Africa except Angola Luanda, Botswana/Namibia, Kenya Nairobi, South Africa Cape Town, South Africa Durban, South Africa Johannesburg, Uganda Kampala, and Zambia Lusaka.

    Church leaders continue to closely monitor conditions related to the outbreak of COVID-19 and will make further adjustments as needed. We love our missionaries and express appreciation for their devoted service.

  • Countries within the Micronesia Guam Mission (as of March 18)

    This applies to missionaries currently serving on islands other than Guam.

  • The Philippines (as of March 17)

    With a new travel directive from the Philippines government, and due to a general disruption to their ability to carry out their service, all missionaries who are not native to the Philippines are being moved out of that country. These missionaries will return to their home countries for new temporary assignments. They will begin their new assignments after completing a 14-day period of self-isolation at home as a precaution.

  • Korea (as of March 5)
  • Mongolia (as of February 27)

Prospective missionaries who are preparing to serve in certain countries or who come from those countries will either postpone their start date or receive a new temporary assignment. This update applies to the following locations:

  • Japan (as of February 25)
  • Korea (as of February 25)
  • Cambodia (as of February 20)
  • Singapore (as of February 20)
  • Thailand (as of February 20)

All missionaries have been removed from the China Hong Kong Mission.

Each missionary who returns home is asked to self-isolate for 14 days following instructions from the World Health Organization and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Missionaries who remain in regions where COVID-19 is of particular concern are taking precautions to stay healthy, including staying in their apartments as much as possible, avoiding personal interaction with other people and teaching through phone calls or other technology. Mission presidents are communicating with families to let them know of these precautions and keep them updated on local circumstances.

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Preventative Measures for Members

For all Church members, there is wisdom in taking steps to remain healthy during this cold and flu season. These precautions include*:

  • Regularly and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water or clean them with an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick (this may include avoiding shaking hands or other customary greetings).
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Maintain at least three feet (one meter) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow public health agency recommendations for using a face mask.

*Based on recommendations from the World Health Organization and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Local leaders should encourage members to follow these guidelines.

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RootsTech London (Updated March 13)

FamilySearch International announced that the RootsTech conference planned for London in November 2020 will be postponed until autumn 2021. Read more.

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Sacrament Meetings, Stake Conferences and Other Large Gatherings (Updated March 12)

The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sent a letter Wednesday, March 11, 2020, to Latter-day Saints everywhere. Their message details a notable restriction on large gatherings of Latter-day Saints. Beginning March 16, 2020, large gatherings will be postponed in Asia, Asia North, Europe, Europe East, the United States and Canada Areas.

Church leaders also sent a letter to Saints on March 12 that says worship services worldwide are temporarily suspended. Local leaders will counsel to determine how to make the sacrament available to members at least once a month.

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Temple Square (Updated March 14)

All public areas of the following Church-owned buildings in and around Temple Square closed, effective 5:00 p.m. MDT on Friday March 13. The closures will remain in effect until further notice.

  • Conference Center
  • Assembly Hall
  • Tabernacle
  • North Visitors’ Center
  • Family History Library
  • Church History Museum
  • Relief Society Building
  • Church Office Building
  • Beehive House
  • Church History Library
  • Joseph Smith Memorial Building (including restaurants)
  • Lion House

The construction work on the Salt Lake Temple will continue as planned. At Welfare Square, operations will remain open, but public tours are temporarily discontinued going forward.

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Temple Worship (Updated March 20 at 9:15 a.m. MDT)

On March 13, the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles sent a letter to Church members around the world detailing temporary changes to temple worship worldwide. These adjustments will impact the scheduling and availability of living ordinances in many temples and will take effect March 16, 2020.

See the temple status FAQ for regular updates that explain several of the temporary adjustments to temple worship.

Most temples are operating with limited hours and performing living ordinances only. However, the following temples are temporarily closed due to COVID-19 restrictions (note that this list does not include temples that are closed for maintenance and scheduled to reopen with limited operations when completed):

  • Accra Ghana Temple
  • Apia Samoa Temple
  • Arequipa Peru Temple
  • Asunción Paraguay Temple
  • Bern Switzerland Temple
  • Buenos Aires Argentina Temple
  • Caracas Venezuela Temple
  • Cebu City Philippines Temple
  • Chicago Illinois Temple
  • Columbia River Washington Temple
  • Copenhagen Denmark Temple
  • Córdoba Argentina Temple
  • Detroit Michigan Temple
  • Fortaleza Brazil Temple
  • Frankfurt Germany Temple
  • Freiberg Germany Temple
  • Fresno California Temple
  • Fukuoka Japan Temple
  • Guatemala City Guatemala Temple
  • Guayaquil Ecuador Temple
  • Hartford Connecticut Temple
  • Helsinki Finland Temple
  • Kyiv Ukraine Temple
  • Lima Peru Temple
  • Lisbon Portugal Temple
  • London England Temple
  • Los Angeles California Temple
  • Louisville Kentucky Temple
  • Madrid Spain Temple
  • Manhattan New York Temple
  • Manila Philippines Temple
  • Montreal Quebec Temple
  • Nauvoo Illinois Temple
  • Newport Beach California Temple 
  • Oakland California Temple
  • Palmyra New York Temple
  • Panama City Panama Temple
  • Papeete Tahiti Temple
  • Paris France Temple
  • Portland Oregon Temple
  • Preston England Temple
  • Quetzaltenango Guatemala Temple
  • Redlands California Temple
  • Rome Italy Temple
  • Sacramento California Temple
  • San Diego California Temple
  • San Salvador El Salvador Temple
  • Santo Domingo Dominican Republic Temple
  • Sapporo Japan Temple
  • Seattle Washington Temple
  • Seoul Korea Temple
  • Stockholm Sweden Temple
  • Taipei Taiwan Temple
  • Tegucigalpa Honduras Temple
  • The Hague Netherlands Temple
  • Toronto Ontario Temple
  • Trujillo Peru Temple
  • Tucson Arizona Temple

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The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square (Updated March 13)

Consistent with the direction provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to temporarily postpone large public gatherings in areas challenged by the COVID-19 virus, the Choir organization has cancelled several concerts and made changes to its public broadcasts and rehearsals. See this page for details.

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Welfare and Self-Reliance Operations (Updated March 17)

Deseret Industries

Deseret Industries stores are adjusting their services to support community health. Beginning Wednesday, March 18, stores will be closed to the general public for shopping and donations but will remain open to support the needs of individuals served by bishops’ orders and community partner grants. Stores will be open Tuesday, March 17, until 6:00 p.m. MDT. 

Employees of Deseret Industries who are in low-risk demographics may be transferred to support the work of bishops’ storehouses and food processing operations to backfill any staff or volunteers from those facilities who are in a higher risk category and, out of an abundance of caution, remain at home. These closures and transfers are temporary. Updated information will be provided as this situation evolves.

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