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The Newfoundland and Labrador English School District is cancelling District-approved travel to European countries, booked to the end of April 2020, due to safety concerns associated with the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

The District can cancel a trip within 24 hours of departure if
students are travelling to (or through), a country determined to be a risk. If a country has not been determined a risk, there is no guarantee travel insurance purchased by parents will be honoured – regardless of whether the District cancels the trip.

“This decision is not taken lightly,” says Tony Stack, CEO/Director of Education. “We have been monitoring the situation closely, in consultation with public health authorities, and watching the
number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 increase rapidly in areas where our students are scheduled to travel. This precautionary measure is designed to reduce the risk of having students exposed to the virus, or being quarantined in a foreign country, or upon their return to Canada. It’s just not a risk
we are willing to take.”

The cancellation affects approximately 17 trips and about 475 students and chaperones. Other trip destinations are being monitored, and may be cancelled as this public health
situation evolves. The district has consulted with Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, the province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, who has indicated her support for a low risk approach to student travel.

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According to the school district, the cancellations to date are a precautionary measure made in the interest of student safety,
security and public safety. The move is designed to reduce the risk of students being exposed to the COVID-19 coronavirus, or being quarantined as the result of a school-sponsored trip. Meanwhile, the District is continuing to monitor the situation, in consultation with provincial health authorities.

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