Changes to Edmonton school trips to Italy, Japan after coronavirus spreads

A couple wearing face masks, stroll outside St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020. The Associated Press

More Edmonton school trips to Japan and Italy are being rerouted over the spread of the coronavirus.

Edmonton Public Schools decided Wednesday to rebook school trips that had been scheduled for Italy next month.

READ MORE: Edmonton school trips to Asia, Europe cancelled or changed due to coronavirus concerns

In a statement, the division said it made the decision after the federal government elevated a travel advisory to level two, just below level three, which suggests avoiding non-essential travel.

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One hundred thirty students and staff from five schools — Crestwood School, Queen Elizabeth High School, Victoria School, Vimy Ridge School and Strathcona High School — would have visited northern Italian cities, including Milan, Verona and Venice.

On Thursday, the division decided to reroute a trip that had been scheduled for Japan, citing many factors.

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“The Prime Minister of Japan recently requested that all schools be closed for approximately a month to help contain the spread of Coronavirus,” a statement reads.

“Japan is urging the cancellation of large events, which gives us concern about the overall safety of our students in a country that is imposing shutdowns.”

The Japan trip would have seen 14 students and staff from D.S. MacKenzie Junior High School visit Osaka, Kyoto, Takayama, Kanazawa and Tokyo.

The trips will either be rerouted, rescheduled or cancelled.

On Tuesday, Edmonton Catholic School District announced it was cancelling school trips to Japan and rerouting a trip that had been scheduled for Italy.

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