Bishop Sarah, who leads the Church of England’s Covid Recovery Group, said: “The emergence of the omicron variant of Covid-19 is, understandably, a concern for all of us.
“We are grateful to the scientists around the world who have identified this strain so quickly and are working hard to learn more about it.
“As yet, little is known about its potential impact and we must exercise patience as we wait for further information.
“As we do so, there are important steps we should take now to protect ourselves and each another.
“The Government has outlined the return of compulsory face coverings in shops and on public transport in England and we should also continue to take other public health precautions that, by now, are very familiar, such as regular hand-washing, observing physical distancing and ensuring good ventilation indoors.
“If you are eligible, please also have your booster jab as soon as it is available.
“Meanwhile we are awaiting any new Government regulations and guidance and will update our advice for churches accordingly.”