The Conference of European Rabbis (CER) has released an advice sheet for affiliated synagogues on ways to tackle the spread of coronavirus.
Signed by Chief Rabbi Pinchas Goldshmitdt, message tells shuls to avoid congregants shaking hands and kissing communal ritual items such as siddurim, talitot, mezuzot and sefer Torahs.
They also suggest putting hand sanitisers in public areas, such as the entrances to shuls, schools and halls.
Those who feel unwell should stay at home “even if they have to say Kaddish.
“If somebody is in quarantine, don’t visit him or her, unless you are protected,” it adds.
“At these times, we cannot underestimate the importance of washing hands on all occasions prescribed by halachah.
“We pray for all those who have been afflicted by this sickness. May God contain this epidemic, heal the sick and guide the scientist [sic] to find a vaccine.”
3,317 people in Europe have been diagnosed with the Covid-19 virus so far, with 53 cases confirmed in the UK. The World Health Organisation suggests social distancing and washing hands frequently as ways to avoid catching the disease.