PUPILS from a number of Northern Ireland schools who were recently on school trips to Italy have been sent home from class due to Coronavirus concerns.

Belfast Daily understands pupils from a school in Antrim who travelled back from Venice airport last week have also been sent home.

They along with a number of teachers who accompanied them on the trip are now ‘self-quaranting’ at home’.

One parent told Belfast Daily: “It is a scary time at the moment.

“Because they travelled through Venice airport where one person has now been confirmed to have the disease, we are just playing a waiting game now.

“But some of the advice being given out by the authorities is just so confusing.

“The best advice for anyone who has concerns is on the BBC News App,” he added.

The precautionary measures at the Antrim school comes after groups of students from Limavady Grammar School, Banbridge Academy and Cambridge House Grammar in Ballymena were sent home after recently returning from northern Italy.

Cambridge House and Limavady Grammar have sent its pupils home for 14 days.

Limavady Grammar’s principal sent all pupils and staff who had been on the trip home early from school on Tuesday.

She said the current advice to them was to “self-isolate” for 14 days.

A group of Year 10 pupils from Limavady travelled to Marilleva in Italy for a skiing trip and flew home via an airport in Milan on Saturday.

In a message to parents and guardians, Limavady Grammar’s principal said she contacted the Public Health Agency on Monday and “was advised to take no action”.

She added: “I have been in contact with them again today (Tuesday) and their current advice is to now advise all pupils and staff who travelled from Italy to self-isolate for 14 days (until 9th March).”

Banbridge Academy has also issued public health advice to parents of pupils who have recently returned from a school ski trip in Italy.

A group of 88 pupils and staff from the Academy had been skiing in the resort of San Valentino.

They departed for the slopes on Saturday, February 15, with the trip lasting for a week.

During the trip, updates had been posted on the school’s Twitter page.

In a message issued to parents/guardians earlier today, principal Mr Robin McLoughlin said: “Following the news article 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.

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

In a letter to parents, Cambridge House Grammar said no symptoms of the virus have been reported by any member of staff or pupil who travelled on a recent ski trip.

The letter said: “Following guidance from the Education Authority, 25 February 2020, pupils and staff who were on the Ski Trip to Italy last week have been sent home for 14 days self-isolation (returning on 10 March 2020).

“This is a precautionary action only. Cambridge House Grammar School pupils were not in any of the designated quarantined towns, however, they were in the Lombardy region and travelled through Milan Airport.”

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