Stevenage and Hitchin schools respond to coronavirus fears following ski trips to Italy
PUBLISHED: 16:58 26 February 2020 | UPDATED: 17:03 26 February 2020
Schools in Stevenage and Hitchin have responded to concerns around the spread of coronavirus following ski trips last week to Northern Italy – where some towns are on lockdown.
Parents of children who attended the Thomas Alleyne Academy school trip to Andola over half term were sent emails yesterday, informing them that the school would be following government health guidelines.
The email stated pupils were expected in school unless they experience coughing, shortness of breath or fever, after visiting the ski-resort.
Headteacher Mark Lewis also clarified further to the Comet: "Following a school ski trip to Andalo in Northern Italy during half term we are following the advice from Public Health England, which states it is safe for students to return to school unless they have a cough, shortness of breath or a fever.
"The group was based in a category two area, some distance from any category one towns where quarantines are in place.
"Our approach is wholly appropriate and we want to reassure our parents, staff and pupils that safety of our school community is, as always, an absolute priority."
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The Priory School in Hitchin took a trip to Santa Caterina and Bormio last week, and reassures parents that they were also staying in an "unaffected area".
A spokeswoman said: "We can confirm that as a precautionary message, general health advice about coronavirus was sent to all of our parents. This has also been made available on our school website.
"A group of pupils from our school did visit Italy last week but this was to an unaffected area."
A number of schools across the UK have taken the decision to close after students visited ski resorts to places such as Bormio, Lake Garda and Verona. However, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said there are no special measures, and "no need" to close schools.
Government advice states: "Travellers do not need to undertake any special measures, but if they develop symptoms they should self-isolate and call NHS 111."
The Thomas Alleyne Academy and Priory School visited areas of Italy which are outside category one special measures.
For further details and advice, go to gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-specified-countries-and-areas.