Coronavirus: Schools cancel pupil trips to Europe and Disneyland Paris
PUBLISHED: 16:03 10 March 2020 | UPDATED: 16:28 10 March 2020
Schools in Norfolk have cancelled trips to Europe by pupils as part of precautions against coronavirus.
The Foreign Office has warned British residents against all but essential travel to Italy after quarantine measures were extended throughout the country.
Students returning from Italy, including a group of fashion students from City College Norwich who returned from Florence last week, have been told to self-isolate if they develop symptoms.
Among the schools forced to cancel Easter skiing trip to the Italian Alps is Alderman Peel High, part of The Wensum Trust, in Wells.
Eight members of staff, including the school principal Alastair Ogle, and 62 students had been due to travel to the Tonale ski resort in Lombardy region.
MORE: Norwich college says its following guidance after students return from Italy
Mr Ogle said: 'The health, wellbeing and safety of students is our top priority. We are grateful to the students and the families involved, who have all been very understanding.
'We value the opportunities that our residential trips offer to students, so we hope to be able to reschedule the trip for a later and safer date.'
Hethersett Academy has also cancelled its Easter skiing trip that would have seen 38 students leave for the Pass de Tonale ski resort on April 1.
School principal Gareth Stevens said the travel company had advised that the trip be cancelled and 'we agree this is the correct approach'.
He added: 'The safety of our students, and the wider community, is of the utmost importance.'
About 35 students from independent Thetford Grammar School had also been due to travel to the Aosta Valley in Italy for an Easter skiing trip.
Head Michael Brewer said the decision to cancel had been taken by the tour operators Interski prior to the Foriegn Office guidance..
He said: 'Certainly from a parental point of view there is a sense of relief though because they were watching the news develop and had understandable concerns.'
MORE: How are schools addressing pupil coronavirus concerns?
Coronavirus concerns have also seen the cancellation of school trips outside Italy.
Wymondham High Academy decided against going ahead with a Year 9 pupil trip to a Maths Live! event Disneyland Paris this week. The £550 trip was cancelled two days before 45 pupils and five staff were due to travel.
Principal Jonathan Rockey said they were 'seriously considering' whether other upcoming school trips to Berlin and Iceland will take place.
He said: 'The welfare of the children is always our highest priority and given the escalating situation in France in terms of the number of cases, the right decision was to cancel the visit. It is always challenging to make a decision that will disappoint the children, but parents were overwhelmingly supportive.'
While there is no Foreign Office advice against travel to France, there have been coronavirus cases including a staff member at Disneyland Paris.
MORE: People warned to be braced for tighter measures and potential school closures
Students from East Norfolk Sixth Form College in Gorleston were due to return this week after visiting the resort as part of a psychology trip.
A school spokesman said: 'There has been a group of students and staff visiting Disneyland Paris in recent days and we are aware that a member of staff at the theme park has tested positive for coronavirus.
'However, the member of staff had not been in direct contact with visitors to the park and had been on leave for several days prior to the arrival of our students.
'We will continue to follow the advice that is being given to all educational establishments on a daily basis.'
- For updates on how coronavirus is affecting Norfolk, please visit our Facebook group here.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Eastern Daily Press. Click the link in the orange box below for details.