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Updated: Bermondsey school seeks coronavirus advice for students after Italy skiing trip

A Bermondsey school has sought coronavirus advice for some of its staff and students after they went on a skiing trip to northern Italy.

The country has the highest number of coronavirus cases outside of Asia, heavily concentrated in the northern region of Lombardy.

City of London Academy Southwark said the advice was precautionary and that there was no evidence that any of the ski trip attendees had the virus.

Principal Mike Baxter told parents in a letter today that he would not be closing the school as he had been advised it was not medically necessary – despite more than a dozen schools across the country taking the move.

“I spoke to the clinician about other schools outside of London who have imposed quarantines and even shut their gates and she assured me that this wasn’t necessary,” he said.

“I appreciate that some parents and carers may feel that the decision to remain open and not mandate a quarantine may not be appropriate.

“However, I am supporting the medical advice I have been given and, should the advice change, will amend my response.”

The school said on social media: “Following the recent increase in COVID 19 (coronavirus) cases in Northern Italy, we have been in contact with the London coronavirus response cell to ensure we are following the latest advice” around students and staff.

It said that any member of the ski trip who show coronavirus symptoms such as fever or shortness of breath “must self-quarantine for 14 days and contact NHS 111.”

The total number of COVID-19 – the approved name for coronavirus – in the UK is currently thirteen.

The virus was passed on in the Diamond Princess cruise ship, and the patients have been transferred to specialist treatment centres.

It comes as pupils in a Sidcup school were advised to self-quarantine this afternoon after also returning from a skiing trip in northern Italy.

An unconfirmed number of students and staff at Cleeve Park school were told to stay at home after complaining of feeling unwell.

This is in line with Government guidance surrounding the virus. Public Health England advises that anyone who has returned from lockdown areas in northern Italy since February 19 should self-isolate.

Those who have visited Northern Italy marked by a line above, and not including, Pisa, Florence and Rimini who develop symptoms should also self-isolate.

Several schools across the country have advised their staff and students to stay at home after recently returning from the affected region.



  1. Mr Baxter seeked professional advice and is following it. There is no need to panic if the professionals are saying to stay open. Italy is a big place, and i’m sure he’d know if it involved his students

  2. I have not heard anything from CoLA staff, nor received any communication from the Headmaster. First time Iam learning by reading this article.

  3. I don’t understand this as other schools have been told that regardless of symptoms (which can take up to 2 weeks to show) any person that was there should self isolate – so this is confusing to me! Why would you even take the risk? If my child went to this school personally I would keep them off!

  4. Mr Baxter should shut school down as a precaution , if one of these children who attended the trip is carrying the virus passes it to other student they then take it home to family and loved ones. We are supposed to be stopping the spread of disease not multiplying it. Shut school as a precaution.

  5. If enough parents refuse to sent there children they might shut the school then. But whos 2 say if the children from the school stay off they wont stay in

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