Mum faces fines for keeping daughter, 12, off school for two weeks over coronavirus fears

A MUM is facing fines for keeping her daughter off school for two weeks over fears she could have coronavirus.

The woman, 43, is terrified her 12-year-old might have caught the killer bug after returning from a skiing trip to Italy.

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But keeping the youngster away from class at Ysgol Friars in Bangor, North Wales, now means she faces a £60 fine from

Gwynedd Council.

She said: “We, along with many other parents, find it absolutely appalling that we are being forced to make such an unbelievable choice.”

Teachers have told the family that pulling their daughter out of class will be seen as an unauthorised absence, despite coronavirus sweeping across northern Italy.

We, along with many other parents find it absolutely appalling that we are being forced to make such an unbelievable choice

The government has warned anyone travelling back from towns in the region should self-quarantine – but Ysgol Friars pupils visited an area 100km outside of the zone.

The mum said: “As very concerned parents we are faced with a decision whether to keep our children safe by keeping them back home for the 14 day self-isolation period and receive a fine and a bad attendance record or put them at risk by sending them back to school.

"A tiny risk I admit, but when you're talking about your own children you can't even take a 0.01 per cent risk.”

Neil Foden, head at Ysgol Friars, said the closest children came to areas affected by the coronavirus outbreak was 100km away and that was when they were travelling on a coach.

He added: “As far as I am aware the parents have sought medical advice and have been told by a medical professional that there is no need to keep their daughter off school."

Wales had its first case of coronavirus confirmed today, with the patient returning back from a trip to Northern Italy.


It comes as 40 schools have shut or turned pupils away across the country over coronavirus fears.

There are also plans to put all classrooms on lockdown and shut off public transport if the virus becomes a pandemic.

Chief Medical Officer for England Chris Witty said school closures could be key in "reducing mass gatherings".

He said: "Because one of the things that's clear with this virus, much more so than with the flu, is anything we do we're going to have to do for quite a long time – probably more than two months."

One school closed yesterday after a parent returned infected with coronavirus from a Tenerife hotel where 160 Brits are quarantined – in one of three new cases.

One of the things that's clear with this virus, much more so than with the flu, is anything we do we're going to have to do for quite a long time

And Northern Ireland confirmed its first positive test yesterday evening – bringing the total number of people diagnosed with Covid-19 in the UK to 19.

Burbage Primary School in Buxton, Derbyshire sent out a WhatsApp alert warning people to stay away last night – as fears spread the deadly bug is taking hold in Britain.

The Derbyshire parent, thought to be a mum, had returned from the H10 Costa Adeje Palace in Tenerife, where hundreds of people are in quarantine after a coronavirus outbreak.
PHE's medical director Prof Paul Cosford said schools had to take "difficult decisions given the complexity of the issues that they're facing".

He said: "Of course, schools have difficult decisions to take – a whole range of issues to take into account and we are able to talk to them about their specific circumstances and help them make the right decisions for them."

"But what I would say is that our general advice is not to close schools."


Coronavirus has seen a number of international events disrupted as the deadly bug grips Britain and Europe.

Ireland's Six Nations rugby clash against Italy was postponed yesterday amid virus fears as organisers said they were monitoring the situation "very closely".

The game was scheduled to take place in Dublin on March 7 with thousands of Italian supporters, many from the regions most affected by the outbreak, expected to make the trip.

The organisers of the London Marathon in April have also said they are monitoring the spread of the virus closely.

The number of people who tested positive for the illness in Italy is at 650.

Germany, which warned of an impending epidemic, has about 27 cases, France around 18 and Spain 15.

Coronavirus has caused nearly 80,000 infections and almost 2,800 deaths, according official Chinese figures.

It has spread to another 46 countries, where about 3,700 cases and 57 deaths have been reported, according to the World Health Organization.


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