COVID-19: Montreal-area schools cancel trips abroad

An Air Transat Airbus A330 lands at Montreal's Trudeau Airport, Sunday, July 31, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Fear of the spread of a new coronavirus has led several Montreal schools to cancel trips abroad.

Students at Laval Senior Academy were supposed to leave Thursday for a ten-day trip to the Carribean and the Swiss Alps. But the school called off the trip, citing "safety and security reasons considering the specific regions that were part of the itinerary."

Westmount High has also cancelled a trip that was supposed to leave for Italy and Greece and Laurier Macdonald School rerouted a trip from Italy to Switzerland. EMSB spokesperson Mike Cohen said all school trips abroad would be reviewed to take the disease into account.

The disease, known as COVID-19, has spread to Italy, and Austria recently reported its first case.

Concerned clients have been calling travel agents Christine Latremoille. "We have people that are scared to travel to the Carribean, which, at the moment, is still a safe destination. We had had other people that had gone to Italy and come back the next day this week because they got there and planned before there was anything happening in Italy, and now things are changing."

Canada's foreign minister has warned that those planning to travel for March break should keep a close eye on travel advisories.