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Salt Lake Airport changes greeting rules
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New rules for picking up missionaries at Salt Lake City International Airport

The Salt Lake International Airport has changed the rules relating to greeting returning missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Image credit: Getty Images.

SALT LAKE CITY — Crowds of people greeted 1,600 missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who had returned home to Salt Lake City International Airport from the Philippines over the weekend.

But now the rules to pick up those missionaries have changed.

The new rules are:

  1. Only one car can pick up a missionary.
  2. People picking up returning missionaries must park on the second level of the short-term parking garage.
  3. Everyone must stay in their vehicle.
  4. Airport staff will direct missionaries to all cars, as well as enforce the rules.

Why the change?

Videos of the reuniting families circulated on social media this weekend, upsetting people concerned that others had ignored social distancing rules aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus in Utah.

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall expressed her concerns via Twitter, while the Church released a statement saying what happened Sunday afternoon caused them “deep concern.”

That’s why Salt Lake City leaders, the airport, and the Church worked on the new guidelines.

Both the Church and the airport said they had told people to follow social distancing rules on Sunday and before, but some families ignored the warnings.

It’s unclear how long the rules will be in place.