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Coronavirus: Schoolchildren sent home from Banbridge school following ski-trip to Italy

Banbridge Academy

Pupils from Banbridge Academy have been sent home from school amid coronavirus fears following a ski-trip to northern Italy this month.

A number of pupils visited San Valentino in Trentino, in what is now being declared as an infected area, over the half-term break, prompting this morning’s action from the local school.

The Academy said it was a precaution following advice from the Public Health Agency.

A letter issued by the school read: “Dear Parent/Guardian, Following a news article, resulting from the UK Health Secretary, on the BBC this morning regarding advice for travellers returning from Northern Italy, the school sought advice from the Northern Ireland Public Health Agency.

“The Public Health Agency has recommended that any pupil or member of staff who recently travelled to northern Italy and is displaying flu-like symptoms, should be isolated as soon as possible and should self-isolate at home until Monday 9 March.

“In addition, as a further precaution, siblings or other family members showing symptoms should self-isolate and not attend school.

“During this time if they display any flu-like symptoms, cough etc you should contact your GP but DO NOT ATTEND the surgery.

“After this time if they show no symptoms they can return to school.

“Further information can be obtained from the PHA website or from the 24/ helpline on 0300 200 7885.

“Obviously the information we receive is constantly being updated by the Public Health Agency and I encourage you to check their website for further details. R S McLoughlin, Principal.”

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