World News

New Brunswick student trip to Italy still on despite coronavirus outbreak

As the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus continues to spread across parts of Italy, the Public Health Agency of Canada has upgraded travel advisories for the northern part of the country.

That has begun to affect March break trips for students across Canada.

Dylan Williams is a Grade 12 student at Riverview High School in New Brunswick and is supposed to leave on a trip to Italy on Saturday with a group of 15 students and a student chaperone.

But the COVID-19 outbreak is on his mind.

“I just hope it doesn’t spread to a point where the trips are cancelled,” said Williams.

“I just hope nothing is postponed.”

Italy now has the highest number of COVID-19 infections outside of Asia. Hundreds of people have tested positive for the virus in the country’s north and the number continues to rise.

The Public Health Agency of Canada even upgraded travel advisories for the region on Tuesday and is calling on travellers to practice special precautions.

Williams’ group is travelling to central and southern Italy — areas for which the Public Health Agency of Canada has not issued advisories.

As of Tuesday, the trip is still on. It’s been booked with a company called WorldStrides Explorica.

Michael Flinn, the teacher chaperone for the trip, says student safety is his number one priority.

“These companies are very good at keeping us out of danger and trouble and they are never going to send us to a place where they feel we are in danger,” he said.

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