Two local school boards have cancelled upcoming international field trips because of the danger posed by the novel coronavirus.
The Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario confirmed three March Break student trips to Europe will no longer happen.
“These trips included Italy in the itinerary, and cancellation was based on a level 3 travel advisory to Northern Italy and information and recommendations from our local health units,” said Amber LaBerge, spokeswoman for the Catholic board.
Those three trips were the only international trips planned for March Break, she confirmed. The school board has two other upcoming trips planned for the United States in April and May, but those trips have yet to be cancelled.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Upper Canada District School Board says there were no international student trips planned for this year, so no cancellations were necessary.
The Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est, the local French Catholic school board, also made the decision to cancel trips until further notice because of the growing number of cases of illness caused by the virus around the world, according to a letter sent to parents.
The letter said school officials realize students will be disappointed after planning the trips for months.
However, the board must place the safety and well-being of students first, and does not want to take the risk that students and staff might be quarantined in a foreign country, said the letter.
The Canadian government has issued advisories against travel to China, Hong Kong, Iran, Japan, Northern Italy, Singapore, and South Korea because of the spread of COVID-19, the illness caused by coronavirus.
School boards across the province are watching government travel advisories and monitoring the worldwide spread of the coronavirus.
The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, the Toronto Catholic District School Board, the York Region District School Board and the District School Board of Niagara have cancelled spring trips to Europe by students.
With files from Jacquie Miller, Postmedia