As the globe continues to report more cases of the coronavirus, Ontario school boards have announced that they will be cancelling multiple European trips. So far, the cancelled field trips have only involved those meant to take place in March. However, according to the school boards, European trips scheduled for April and June may be cancelled as well.
Thames Valley, York Region, Toronto Catholic School Boards, and District School Board of Niagara have all confirmed cancellations of scheduled overseas trips due to a growing concern of the virus.
Global News reported that the York Region School Board would continue to monitor the situation carefully before deciding the fate of their future trips.
Toronto Catholic District School Board also noted that it would not allow its staff and students to travel due to the exposure risks involved.
“As a result of increased numbers of reported cases of COVID-19 virus in European countries, scheduled trips from March 11 to March 20 will not proceed," a spokesperson for TCDSB told Narcity.
"Out of an abundance of caution, the decision to cancel these trips was made due to the potential dangers linked to the virus and the possibility that staff and students could be exposed while on tour or could endure a lengthy quarantine.”
Corona virus Europe update. 🇮🇹: 1140 🇫🇷: 100 🇩🇪: 79 🇪🇸: 45 🇬🇧: 23 🇨🇭: 18 🇳🇴: 15 🇸🇪: 13 🇭🇷: 6 🇳🇱: 6 🇬🇷: 4 🇫🇮: 3 🇷🇴:… https://t.co/IjTjTnIErz— PeterSweden (@PeterSweden) 1583020261.0
Narcity also reached out to Toronto District School Board for further comment, who state that they are also monitoring the situation.
“Currently, there are 14 European trips scheduled for the March Break. Staff are monitoring the situation closely, and a final decision on whether these trips will proceed as planned will be made in the near future," Social Media Relations Ryan Bird told Narcity.
"We are aware of 1 trip to Italy that has already been cancelled by the trip operator,” they continue.
While it is still unclear how some school boards will be addressing the cancellations, Thames Valley School Board has announced that they will fully refund families who paid for the trips.
So far, multiple travel advisories have been put in place by the Government of Canada.
Since Monday morning, Canadians have been advised to avoid non-essential travel to northern Italy.