Coronavirus: Ski pupils to self-isolate after Italy trip cut short

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Courmayeur ski resortImage source, Claudia Beretta/Mondadori/Getty Images
Image caption,
The trip to Courmayeur was abandoned due to lifts in the Italian resort being closed

A British school party which arrived in Italy just before the country launched its coronavirus lockdown has had to abandon its trip.

Pupils from Welbourn, Lincolnshire, arrived at the Alpine ski resort of Courmayeur at the weekend.

But as emergency measures were extended, ski lifts were closed and no alternative sites could be arranged.

Sir William Robertson Academy said no restrictions were in place at the time of departure.

Head teacher Mark Guest said staff had made all necessary checks with officials before setting off.

Mr Guest said the school had also "considered" alternative skiing options in France, but these were ruled out due to lack of insurance cover.

In a letter to parents, he also thanked pupils for "their resilience and cheerfulness despite the disappointment of their trip being cut short".

"As you may be aware, the guidance for travellers returning from Italy has changed overnight," he wrote.

"The current guidance is that anyone returning - from any part of Italy - should self-isolate for 14 days, even if they are exhibiting no symptoms.

He said parents had been kept updated and were "aware when they collected their children this morning that this would be the likely outcome".

Arrangements were being made for pupils, who arrived back in Lincolnshire earlier, to work from home, he added.

On Monday, Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte ordered people to stay home and seek permission for essential travel.

It comes as the coronavirus death toll jumped from 366 to 463, making it the worst-hit country after China.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in all 20 Italian regions.

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