SALT LAKE CITY – Months after pulling thousands of missionaries from foreign countries, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Wednesday it has resumed sending some missionaries on assignments outside of their native countries.
Church spokesman Daniel Woodruff released a statement explaining “the Church has begun sending a very limited number of these missionaries to assignments outside their home countries. This process is deliberate and cautious. Because of the ongoing pandemic, all missionary travel is dependent upon local conditions and air travel restrictions, and some missionaries may not depart for several months.”
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, more than 26,000 missionaries have accepted reassignments to serve in their home countries due to challenges posed by the coronavirus. The Church’s missionary training centers were also closed, transitioning to online teaching.
In March, the Church gave missionaries, who were sent home, the option to return to their assignments at a later date or defer their mission for 12 to 18 months. Release dates were also modified.
Men serving in the United States and Canada, and would complete their mission on or before Sept. 1 had the option to be released after 21 months of service.
Woodruff said, “We recognize conditions can change rapidly, and we will continue to closely monitor world events and make adjustments as needed. The safety of our missionaries and those they serve is our top priority.”
When traveling, missionaries will be instructed to follow established public health guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. After they arrive in their new assignments, missionaries will quarantine for a required period and then take part in activities appropriate to local circumstances.