Metro Vancouver schools cancel overseas trips amid coronavirus fears

Mar 4 2020, 9:43 am

Two school districts in Metro Vancouver have decided to cancel overseas field trips for students amidst the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

Jordan Tinney, Superintendent and CEO of Surrey Schools addressed the matter to students, parents, and staff in a letter on Tuesday.

“The ability to travel internationally, to experience different languages, cultures, and geography is a rich and rewarding experience,” he writes. “Unfortunately, this year we are faced with a global challenge with the outbreak of COVID-19.”

“With the outbreak and corresponding travel advisories, the district is taking the necessary precautions by cancelling some trips.”

Tinney says that the school district has cancelled trips to Italy, Japan, and France “due to the risk of harm for students and staff travelling to these regions.” Other trips that are currently scheduled are being monitored in accordance with changes in the Government of Canada’s Travel Health Notices.

The Surrey School District has asked students who are travelling overseas “for personal travel” to consider self-isolation upon returning to Canada.

“We are already seeing instances of students returning from countries where the current recommendation is to ‘avoid places where you cannot easily separate yourselves from others’ for 14 days upon return to Canada,” says Tinney.

Additionally, the North Vancouver School District confirmed that two international trips, planned for Italy and Japan, were also cancelled for students. Six other trips are currently being monitored.

A parent in Vancouver School District 39 also shared on social media that his “Grade 11 daughter’s class trip to Europe” had been cancelled due to the coronavirus.

The class trip was scheduled to visit Italy and France. A spokesperson for the Vancouver School Board was unable to confirm the cancellation but tells Daily Hive that “there are a number of international trips planned across the Vancouver School District” and that they “have been carefully considering every trip on a case by case basis.”