Dagenham pupils and staff told to stay home after ski trip following coronavirus advice

Sydney Russell School. Picture: Ellie Hoskins

Sydney Russell School. Picture: Ellie Hoskins - Credit: Archant

Pupils and staff returning from a ski trip have been sent home from a Dagenham school following advice on the coronavirus.

Children and teachers from Sydney Russell School who were in Italy last week - some of whom have mild flu-like symptoms - have been told to stay home for 48 hours to "ensure their safety and minimise any risk of infection".

Eleven towns in northern Italy have been put into lockdown amid an outbreak of the virus over recent days.

However, principal Janis Davies insisted the school group had not been in a quarantined part of Italy and there were no confirmed cases of the coronavirus among them.

She said: "When we realised that the virus was in Italy, we confirmed our children were not in the quarantine zone and also sought advice from NHS England and Public Health England.

"What I've done now is, for children and staff who were on the trip, asked them not to come into school for 48 hours - not because they are infected, they are not, just to ensure their safety and minimise any risk of infection.

"There are no diagnosed cases of coronavirus."

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Parents have been instructed to contact 111 if their children have "the sniffles" or exhibit any other flu-like symptoms.

Ms Davis said: "Some children have got the sniffles or a cough and cold, but they have been on a ski trip, and rightly some parents are worried.

"We've told them to contact 111 and keep them in isolation."

For more information about coronavirus, including advice for people returning to the UK from Italy and other countries, visit gov.uk/coronavirus