The Chilliwack School District announced on March 11, 2020 that all international field trips planned over spring break are cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Black Press file)

Chilliwack school district cancels all international trips due to COVID-19

Trips to Scotland/Ireland and Kenya now off as well as a trip to France previously cancelled

The international COVID-19 pandemic has hit close to home as the Chilliwack school district announced Wednesday that all international school field trips planned for the March 2020 spring break have been cancelled.

In a letter sent to parents and staff, acting superintendent Rohan Arul-pragasam said that the announcement means that in addition to a trip to France that was cancelled on March 6, field trips to Kenya and Scotland/Ireland are now also off.

“We realize that this will be disappointing news for many students, staff and parents, and we very much share your disappointment,” Arul-pragasam wrote. “Please be assured that senior staff took many factors into consideration in making this difficult decision. We have been monitoring the pandemic very closely and relying on the latest information from the World Health Organization, the B.C. Ministries of Health and Education, Fraser Health and the BC Centre for Disease Control. We have also been monitoring the Government of Canada’s Travel Health Notices and Travel Advice and Advisories with respect to international travel advisories.”

He added that the cancellations were decided upon out of an abundance of caution given “that student and staff safety is paramount.”

On Monday, the school district issued a special notice to families travelling on spring break, asking that they are aware of Government of Canada travel advisories.

“We are also asking families who are travelling overseas to China and Iran to stay home and self-isolate for 14 days upon their return to B.C., and to monitor closely for symptoms of illness as per the information provided by the BC Centre for Disease Control.”

• READ MORE: Chilliwack students travelling overseas for spring break asked to self-isolate

• RELATED: PHOTOS: Fraser Valley shelves getting bare as coronavirus hoarding continues

There are no overseas trips planned for students in the Fraser-Cascade School District, according to superintendent Karen Nelson.

with a file from Jessica Peters

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