Great Britain

Coronavirus outbreak LIVE: Updates as UK schools close over infection fears

Schools in the UK are taking drastic action to protect against coronavirus as the illness continues to spread across Europe amid fears of a global pandemic.

Some have closed while others have sent pupils home for fear they may have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus during ski trips to northern Italy.

It comes as travellers returning to the UK from northern Italy were told they may need to self-isolate as part of measures to stop the spread of illness.

Currently in there have been 6,795 people tested in the UK with 13 of those positive.

Authorities in Italy reported on Tuesday night that the number of people infected in the country grew to 322, or 45% in 24 hours, and deaths of patients with the virus rose to 11.

Austria, Croatia and Switzerland reported their first cases, while Spain and France recorded new ones, also involving people who had been to northern Italy.

The first positive test in South America has been recorded after 61-year-old Brazilian man who had recently been to northern Italy tested positive, it has been reported.

We will have the latest updates for you below

Most recent numbers

As of February 25, a total of 6,795 people have been tested in the UK with 13 positive cases.

The Department of Health also added Iran, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Burma and parts of northern Italy to the list of places where travellers need to follow clinical advice.

China has reported 78,064 cases and 2,715 deaths, while South Korea has the second highest number of cases with 1,261 and 11 deaths.

Early on Wednesday the US military said one of its soldiers based in South Korea has also tested positive for Covid-19.

The schools that have had to close

On Tuesday, Cransley School in Northwich, Cheshire, and Trinity Catholic College in Middlesbrough announced they would be closed for the rest of the week.

Both schools said that this was to allow for a “deep clean” after pupils and teachers had returned from ski trips in northern Italy.

Trinity Catholic College said that a “small number of staff and pupils” had started showing mild flu-like symptoms following a ski trip.

Lutton St Nicholas and Gedney Church End primary schools in Lincolnshire also said they had closed “because of a potential connection to the Coronavirus by an individual within the school” and St Christopher’s C of E High School in Accrington told parents it would be shut on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Sandbach High School in Cheshire said students and staff who visited Aprica, in Italy’s Lombardy region, were to stay indoors and self-isolate.

A third Cheshire school, Brine Leas School in Nantwich, said its sixth form was closed due to staff shortages following Government advice regarding travel to Italy.

Students from Penair School in Truro, Cornwall, Salendine Nook High School in Huddersfield, Cardinal Heenan Catholic High School in West Derby and Newquay Tretherras in Newquay, have also been advised to stay home after returning from ski trips.

Virus spreading across Europe

Authorities in Italy reported on Tuesday night that the number of people infected in the country grew to 322, or 45% in 24 hours, and deaths of patients with the virus rose to 11.

Austria, Croatia and Switzerland reported their first cases, while Spain and France recorded new ones, also involving people who had been to northern Italy.

The first positive test in South America has been recorded after 61-year-old Brazilian man who had recently been to northern Italy tested positive, it has been reported.

Coronavirus forces school closures across the UK

Schools in the UK are taking drastic action to protect against coronavirus as the illness continues to spread across Europe amid fears of a global pandemic.

Some have closed while others have sent pupils home for fear they may have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus during ski trips to northern Italy.

It comes as travellers returning to the UK from northern Italy were told they may need to self-isolate as part of measures to stop the spread of illness.

Currently in there have been 6,795 people tested in the UK with 13 of those positive.