Following a recent Ad Clerum from Archbishop Bernard Longley, the following information has been given regarding the Sacrament of Confession during the time of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Requests for individual confession are very difficult to meet, given the demands of staying at home, social distancing and church closure. Priests must refuse such requests for these reasons. The Sacrament cannot be celebrated over the telephone or by conference call. A pastoral conversation and reassuring prayer may of course take place by these means.
The recent Note from the Apostolic Penitentiary on the Sacrament of Reconciliation in the current epidemic, 20th March 2020 states:
Where the individual faithful find themselves in the painful impossibility of receiving sacramental absolution, it should be remembered that perfect contrition, coming from the love of God, beloved above all things, expressed by a sincere request for forgiveness (that which the penitent is at present able to express) and accompanied by votum confessionis, that is, by the firm resolution to have recourse, as soon as possible, to sacramental confession, obtains forgiveness of sins, even mortal ones (cf. CCC, no. 1452).