DUNCLUG College in Ballymena has cancelled a ski trip in Italy due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The trip was due to have started today and lasted until March 7.
Dunclug Principal Ruth Wilson said: “We regret very much the cancellation of our Ski-Trip to Folgaria in Italy.
“Our pupils were due to be staying about I hr 40 minutes from an affected area.”
A statement signed by the principal on the school’s website added: “While the current advice is to cancel travel to affected areas only, the Principal had to take into account a number of factors.
“The virus could easily continue to spread in Italy.
“The Italian Government has given permission for areas to go into lock-down if the virus spreads into their jurisdiction.
“That could mean our group could be quarantined in Italy for a period of time. Equally it poses risk to our children to be bringing home viruses which could affect children with asthma, elderly relatives, or people who are immuno-suppressed.
“In addition, some of the children in our groups are vulnerable in themselves, with specific needs – and possible quarantine arrangements could potentially cause significant distress and homesickness, not to mention anxiety and worry for parents.
“On balance, it was the best judgment call in the circumstances given the suddenness of the outbreak in Italy and the limited time frame for a decision.
“I am grateful and reassured that the vast majority of parents have expressed understanding and relief at the decision and apologise to any who feel the decision was unnecessary or premature. The school will seek to do its part to seek any alternative offers, or to assist with costs to those involved.”