Covid-19 and the meetings in Taizé


Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year France underwent a lockdown in spring and again at the beginning of November. Between these two periods, from June 14 to October 30, the community was able to organise youth meetings in Taizé. A health protocol including fifty measures was drawn up and sent to the local authorities.

In recent months, around six thousand people have stayed in Taizé to take part in the weekly meetings and several hundred others have passed through Taizé without actually staying on site. All the participants were informed before their stay and on their arrival of the need to respect the "barrier measures", which are acts of attention and care towards others and especially towards the most vulnerable.

Praying together and meeting others whilst wearing a mask and keeping a distance are not necessarily natural. But thanks to everyone’s efforts, the meetings went well and there were no outbreaks of infection in Taizé.

During these four and a half months, some participants in the meetings learned whilst staying in Taizé that they had been in contact with people who had tested Covid-19 positive. According to the recommendations of the French authorities, these "close contact" cases were isolated and tested in turn. A few other people developed symptoms of the coronavirus and were also tested. Most of these people tested negative for Covid-19. However, there were also some positive results from these tests (see list below).

The brothers and young volunteers who were in contact with the groups that came during the autumn holidays spent a week in quarantine at the beginning of November and none of them fell ill.

We would like to thank all those who came to Taizé during this period and who took part in the meetings in such special conditions.

List of all cases communicated to us

Here is what we know about these people who have had the coronavirus over the past few months:

  • A lady who was in Taizé on 5/6 September told us that she probably caught the virus before coming. We were able to identify the people who had had contact with her in Taizé and they did not fall ill.
  • A gentleman who participated in the Autun diocesan day on 4 October. It was reported to us a few days later that he had tested positive afterwards, without us knowing whether he already had the virus during his day in Taizé.
  • Four people who travelled together by car and stayed in Taizé on the weekend of 3/4 October. They tested positive a few days later. A brother was in contact with them, he was tested and the result was negative.
  • A young woman who was in Taizé from 11 to 14 October, who had been in close contact with a sick person before coming. Six people who had been in close contact with her had to be isolated in Taizé and all tested negative at Covid-19.
  • A leader of a group of young people who went to Taizé on 23/24 October whose wife (she was not with him in Taizé) tested positive for Covid-19 during his stay. We did not know of any other sick people in this group.
  • A leader of a group of young people, in Taizé from 22 to 26 October, found out that had had close contacts who were ill with Covid. We did not know of any other sick people in this group.
  • During his stay in Taizé, scheduled for 26-30 October, a young person learned that one of his parents had tested positive for Covid. He was isolated, got tested, and the test result was positive. His closest friends were also isolated, returned home by car without being in contact with their group, and were tested at home. A friend of the young person concerned also tested positive, but those who shared the same dormitory as him tested negative for Covid 19.
  • In a large group visiting Taizé from 26 to 30 October, a young person had symptoms of Covid-19 when he returned home and was tested; the test result was positive. Young people who had close contact with him were tested, especially those who stayed in the same dormitory : results were negative. He had been invited to the meal with brothers and the brother who sat next to him was tested, and the result was negative. A few days after their return, three young people from the same group lost their sense of taste and smell; they were tested and the test result was positive. We don’t know if these young people had the virus during their stay in Taizé, but as a precaution those who stayed in the same dormitories were tested and the results were negative.
Last updated: 20 November 2020