N.B. education minister orders precautions because of coronavirus

New Brunswick Education Minister Dominic Cardy speaks to reporters during hearings into more stringent vaccine requirements for New Brunswick children in Fredericton on Aug. 27, 2019.

Some New Brunswick students who spent last week in Italy will be getting an extended March break - as ordered by the education minister.

Dominic Cardy says he has no power to decide where people spend their holidays, but he feels the trip to Italy by students from Sussex was ill-advised.

He says any students, teachers or volunteers who have travelled to countries listed at a level-two or level-three risk for the novel coronavirus in travel advisories by the Government of Canada, must stay away from New Brunswick schools for a period of two weeks.

Cardy says anyone who believes they've had contact with someone with the virus should err on the side of caution and also stay away from the schools.

New Brunswick has yet to have a confirmed case of COVID-19, but Cardy says officials know it's not a case of if it will arrive, but when.

The minister says his goal is to delay the arrival of the coronavirus in New Brunswick schools.