Letter to Parents re Coronavirus

30th January 2020

Dear Parents

Re: Information about coronavirus – 30th January 2020

Following the receipt of a number of advisories from Public Health England, the NHS, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Boarding Schools Association here is an overview of situation regarding coronavirus on the 30th January 2020:

  • Wuhan City is now under quarantine. Travel restrictions have been imposed across many areas of China and port-of-exit screening has been introduced so that people exhibiting symptoms are not permitted to leave the country.
  • The Foreign and Commonwealth office has advised against all travel to Hubei Province and have urged UK nationals in the area to leave if they can. 
  • It has also advised against ‘all but essential’ travel to the rest of mainland China (not including Hong Kong and Macao).
  • British Airways, United Airlines, American Airlines, Air Asia, Cathay Pacific, Air India, IndiGo, Lufthansa and Finnair have significantly reduced their flights or have completely stopped flying to China.
  • To this date there have been no confirmed cases in the UK or in UK citizens abroad.

Please use the following link https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/china for further information about travel to China.

Precautionary measures within the school community have been taken to reflect the advice given, boarders will not be able to travel to mainland China over the half term break and day pupils are urged to follow the Foreign Travel advice to China.  Any planned visits by boarding family members from China will be rescheduled and it is strongly recommended that any visitor from China who wishes to visit any pupil should reschedule their visit until the advice changes. Thankfully, none of our boarders are from Wuhan City or province and all returned to the UK before the outbreak.

A coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. Novel coronavirus is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China. Typical symptoms of coronavirus include fever and a cough that may progress to a severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.  Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.

While the risk to the UK population remains low, the Government has issued the following guidance:

  • If you have been to Wuhan in the last 14 days that you should stay indoors, not go to work, visit schools or other public areas, even if you do NOT have the symptoms of the virus.
  • Call NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the city even if you do NOT have symptoms of the virus.

Please refer to the following link https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public should you require further information.  Updates to this service are normally at about 2pm.

This is of course a difficult time for a number of the school community and we thank them for their understanding and support of these actions. We will continue to liaise with the appropriate agencies and inform you of any further updates. 

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