SLC, LDS Church release guidelines for returning missionaries' families

Posted at 6:12 PM, Mar 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-23 20:29:08-04

SALT LAKE CITY — After a massive gathering of missionaries' families Sunday night ignited upset comments from the public and from state leaders, the Salt Lake City Mayor's Office and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints coordinated to clarify the proper procedure for picking up returning missionaries.

A "substantial" amount of elders and sisters serving in foreign missions are returning to the United States to self-isolate for two weeks and, for some, being reassigned. Sunday night, hundreds of family members were seen packed into close quarters waiting to welcome their missionaries home at the Salt Lake City International Airport. Gov. Gary Herbert and Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox both made statements on Twitter that night, reminding Utahns to practice social distancing and avoiding groups of more than 10 people.

On Monday, Mayor Erin Mendenhall released a statement with guidelines for families picking up missionaries as more chartered flights bring them home. It stated, in part:

Individuals picking up returning missionaries are asked to park on the second level of the short-term parking garage and remain in their vehicle. Missionaries will be directed by airport staff to the parking area for pickup. Only one vehicle is permitted to pick up a missionary, and airport security will be monitoring adherence to the guidelines.

Church spokesman Eric Hawkins said the guidelines "reflect what we have previously directed families to do."

Airport security will be enforcing the guidelines.

Click here to read the full statement.