North Tyneside school pupils to self-isolate for fortnight on return from coronavirus-hit Italy

Staff and students from North Tyneside will self-isolate for 14 days on their return from an Italy trip that was cut short due to coronavirus.

Longbenton High School pupils left for Courmayer in northern Italy on Saturday March 7 but were forced to turn back two days later.

Having arrived on Sunday, they were told on Monday that the majority of Italy's ski resorts would close and not reopen this season in a bid to control the spread of the virus.

The group of 40 will return home to Tyneside on Tuesday.

In a statement issued on the school's website, they have been told by the school to stay at home for a fortnight.

The school has also advised that all other children should attend school as normal.

Their return comes as British nationals are being warned against all but essential travel to Italy.

On Monday evening, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said the safety of Britons was the “number one priority” as it amended its travel advice.

It also said anyone returning from Italy should self-isolate for 14 days.

The main message from Public Health England, is for everyone to wash their hands thoroughly and regularly. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The updated guidance came after Italian premier Giuseppe Conte extended restrictions from the north to the entire country in an attempt to stop the spread of Covid-19, after the country’s death toll climbed to 463.

One person affected by the lockdown across the whole of Italy is Darren Waggott from Hartlepool.

He moved to Milan with his partner to run a business in September. They've been in quarantine for three weeks along with their baby daughter.

Meanwhile, flights from Newcastle Airport to Italy with Jet 2 and Tui have been cancelled after the UK government advised against all but essential travel to the country.

Both companies say they're in contact with customers already in Italy to make arrangements to bring them home as soon as possible.