Student Group Travel at Spring Break Cancelled

Posted On Friday March 06, 2020

Out of an abundance of caution, School District No. 73 (Kamloops-Thompson) has cancelled the school group tours for students planning to visit Europe during spring break.

The decision, due to the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 and corresponding travel advisories, affects 38 staff and students from Clearwater Secondary, Valleyview Secondary and Sa-Hali who had planned to visit various regions of Europe beginning March 13, 2020.

“Unfortunately, this year we are faced with a global challenge with the outbreak of COVID-19,” said Bill Hamblett, Assistant Superintendent of Schools – Secondary. “Due to the risk of harm for students and staff travelling to regions of Europe, we had to make the call to cancel these trips.”

For South Kamloops Secondary students, their trip to Costa Rica will continue as planned, however SD73 will continue to monitor the situation daily and respond to any changes with the Government of Canada’s Travel Health Notices.

“We are currently working with travel providers and individual schools to see if trips can be refunded, rescheduled or rerouted. Schools and trip organizers will communicate directly with affected students and families about next steps related to refunds.”

Travel with school groups is one of the ways students and staff make their most memorable moments. The ability to travel internationally, to experience different languages, cultures and geography is a rich and rewarding experience, and for many students, travel at spring break with a school group is their first international experience.

With these cancellations, there are a number of factors SD73 considered, including the Health Canada advisories as well as the potential that staff and students may be quarantined, either overseas, or upon their return to Canada.

“We know that these trips are eagerly anticipated and have required extensive planning and support to make them happen,” Hamblett said. “While we regret to have to cancel any planned activities, we see this as a wise and necessary precaution.”

In a message sent home to all secondary parents, SD73 is also asking parents and staff who are travelling overseas for personal travel to please consider issues such as needing to be quarantined upon returning to Canada. While the current areas of most significant concern are China, Northern Italy, Iran, Japan and South Korea, impacted areas may change and expand as the situation continues to evolve.




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