Coronavirus: Pupils at Prince George and Princess Charlotte’s school self-isolate amid virus fears

School says a small number of students have been tested and are ‘remaining at home’ while they wait for results

Sabrina Barr
Thursday 27 February 2020 09:18
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Several pupils at Prince George and Princess Charlotte‘s school have been sent home due to fears regarding the coronavirus.

Coronavirus has continued to spread across Europe and at least eight schools in the UK have closed as a safeguarding measure.

The private Thomas’s School in Battersea, which Prince George and Princess Charlotte attend, has had students self-isolate at home.

A spokesperson for Thomas’s School said that it is taking the “potential risks” associated with the coronavirus, otherwise known as COVID-19, “very seriously”.

Four students at the school were reportedly sent home after returning to the UK from a trip to northern Italy.

“Like all schools we are taking the potential risk connected with the spread of COVID-19 very seriously," the spokesperson said.

"And to this end are following government guidance to the letter around both prevention against infection and in dealing with cases where any staff or pupils are suspected of being exposed to the virus or who display symptoms.

“We currently have a very small number of pupils who have been tested and these individuals are currently, as per government advice, remaining at home pending the receipt of their test results.”

The spokesperson added that all parents of children at the academic institution have been told about the pupils in self-isolation.

“All parents have been informed and we have maintained regular communication with our school community to ensure that advice is shared and important information is circulated,” they said.

“We will of course preserve staff and pupil confidentiality and will not be commenting on specific cases.”

Public Health England (PHE) has stated that its general advice is not to close schools, a sentiment shared by Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

In addition to schools, PHE has stated that if there is a suspected case of coronavirus in a workplace, there is no need to close or have staff sent home until test results have been received.

Health Secretary Hancock said that guidance has been sent to employers in the UK outlining that staff who asked to self-isolate are entitled to take sick leave.

More than 2,800 people across the world have been killed by the coronavirus, while more than 82,000 have been infected.

Health officials in Italy have confirmed 400 cases of the coronavirus across the country in addition to 12 fatalities.

In the UK, there are currently 15 confirmed cases of the virus.

It has been reported that the Queen’s granddaughter Zara Tindall and her husband Mike Tindall will not self-isolate, despite returning from a ski trip in Lombardy, Northern Italy this week.

PHE explains that self-isolation is only relevant to a select number of people, including those who are waiting for a coronavirus test result and those who are a close contact of someone who has been diagnosed with the virus.

To stay up to date with the latest news concerning the coronavirus, follow The Independent‘s live blog here.

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