BY Ryan McDougall | March 6 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

4 st margaret's ski trip

School ski trip cut short by coronavirus fears

A Livingston Catholic school had ‘no choice’ but to cut short its Italian ski trip amid coronavirus fears.

A group of 30 St Margaret’s Academy pupils set off with three Physical Education teachers on Sunday February 23 for a week-long skiing holiday intending to return on Sunday March 1.

However, as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Italy continued to rise, it was decided they would return home three days early.

Europe deaths

As the SCO went to press, there were over 2,255 cases of the disease in Italy and have been 79 deaths.

The group of teachers and pupils were in the Aosta Valley, in the Western Alps region, near the French and Swiss borders.

They travelled back by bus and ferry, and arrived safely in Scotland on Friday.

The majority of coronavirus cases in Italy have been in the Lombardy region, near Milan, far from where the pupils had visited.

A spokesperson for West Lothian Council said: “A group from St Margaret’s Academy recently returned from Northern Italy but the group did not stay in or travelled through any of the affected areas.

NHS advice

“We would again reiterate that the advice from the NHS is that only travellers returning from Category 1 towns in Northern Italy are to self-isolate.

“This does not apply to the St Margaret’s Academy trip. The NHS advice is that those returning from other parts of Northern Italy who have no symptoms can still go about their normal activities. Should anyone develop symptoms they should contact 111 or a GP and self-isolate.”

The spokesperson added: “As a precautionary measure, given the level of public interest in this matter, the school decided to return the group a few days earlier than planned. It is important to stress that no members of the group reported any symptoms and we’d emphasise that it was purely a precautionary measure.”

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