On 1st February, Bishop Paul Mason, who chairs the Healthcare Executive Group of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, issued Guidelines in relation to the new coronavirus. *Ask anyone with cold or flu symptoms to refrain from taking Holy Communion from the Chalice and receive the Host on the hand only. (We should be doing this anyway, every ‘flu season’.) *Ensure you combat discrimination against Chinese people and others wrongly assumed to have or be spreading the virus.
*There is no need as things stand, for the Chalice to be withdrawn or the Sign of Peace to be suspended, such as was advised during the 2009 ‘flu pandemic’. This advice would only come if we had a very serious epidemic in the UK and at the time of writing this is unlikely.

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