We live in interesting times. I am grateful to be on the earth at a time when we have a living prophet to guide and direct us, particularly as we navigate this unprecedented event with the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
As of this morning, there are sixty-four diagnosed cases of the coronavirus in Poland with the first reported fatality occurring two days ago. Its spread has fortunately been fairly linear and not exponential. Poland has taken extraordinary preventative measures in the past few days in attempts to arrest its spread. These measures include closure of all schools, universities, shopping malls, theatres, museums, and restaurants. Public gatherings are currently limited to less than fifty people. Also, effective today, the border will be closed to all people except native Poles and foreigners with residence cards. All those entering the country will be screened and quarantined for a mandatory fourteen days.
The transportation of goods across international borders is expected to continue as normal.
All of our missionaries have confirmed that they have their emergency money and a two-week supply of emergency food, water, and supplies. They have been instructed NOT to eat this food unless directed by the mission. This will only occur in the event that they are not able to leave their apartments. Otherwise, they will continue to shop as normal.
In regards to missionary work, the work will continue normally, with a few exceptions. All English, Self-reliance, and Family History classes are cancelled in accordance with the Church's policy to suspend all meetings. They will, however, continue to proselyte, as the public is not confined to their homes, and missionaries have been advised to be cautious and practice preventative measures as outlined in my last email to you. They are not allowed to contact door-to-door. District councils and zone conferences will continue.
As far as departures and arrivals of missionaries are concerned, there are many uncertainties. Rapidly changing government and Church policies/regulations make it difficult to know exactly what will occur at the time missionaries are to arrive or depart. We will tackle these issues and concerns as they come. For now, it is expected that all missionaries returning home on April 7 will do so as scheduled—particularly since the European travel ban does not apply to US citizens (for now). If anything changes or issues regarding a specific departure arises, like for some of our European missionaries, the mission will contact those parents individually. Of note, all returning missionaries will be subject to screening and the mandatory 14-day quarantine (see attachment).
In consultation with the Area Presidency, small group meetings on Sundays in homes will occur in which your missionaries and the persons they are teaching may attend. Baptisms will still occur but in small groups with confirmations performed immediately after the baptism or as part of an in-home sacrament meeting.
We feel strongly that because of these current events more people will be humbled and receptive to our message and we will see an even greater hastening of the work in Poland (and throughout the world).
A recent Church Newsroom article about Northern Italy speaks to the surge of spirituality amongst the people.