A parent has refused to send their child to school, saying teachers were "not taking the coronavirus issue seriously" after Italy ski trip students returned to class.

Watford Grammar School for Boys alerted parents and carers on Tuesday about the welfare of some of those who had visited northern Italy last week - although it did not confirm at the time which parts of northern Italy the students visited.

The email, sent by the matron, confirmed that two students and a staff member had developed norovirus during the trip – but were quick to reassure parents that no one was displaying any symptoms of coronavirus.

Watford Observer:

The email sent out to parents and carers on Tuesday

Parts of northern Italy are currently on lockdown, with more than 11 people confirmed to have died following an outbreak of coronavirus.

Although Watford Grammar says those affected by the norovirus have not been in school since the trip, one parent is concerned that others who were on the skiing trip have been allowed back to school.

The parent, who wanted to stay anonymous, said: “In the letter, they (the school) have not said which parts of northern Italy the party visited, so it is unclear whether they have been in the affected towns before they were quarantined.

“I'm going to keep my son at home for the next two weeks as I'm scared he will catch the virus and pass it on to his grandfather who has asthma. I know other parents who are doing the same. "People are scared. I don't think the school are taking this seriously."

Watford Grammar for Boys has confirmed two pupils did not attend school yesterday due to fears about coronavirus.

Headmaster Ian Cooksey also confirmed the ski trip party did not travel through any of the Italian towns that are now in quarantine.

Mr Cooksey said: “We can confirm that the party travelled to the resort of Folgarida-Marilleva which is north of Trento in the Italian Dolomites.

"At no point did any member of the party travel to or through the Italian towns which are now in quarantine. The advice that the school is following is the most up-to-date advice from the government which we have shared with all parents.

"Like all schools we expect parents to take responsibility for acting according to this advice based on their own particular circumstances.”

Watford Grammar added in the email sent out to parents that those who contracted norovirus will not return until they are free from symptoms for 48 hours. Anyone who did go on the skiing trip has been told to “self-isolate” at home if they develop any symptoms of norovirus.

Folgarida-Marilleva is more than 100 miles away from the 11 quarantined towns in Lombardy and Veneto in Italy.

Elsewhere in our area, Rickmansworth School has said it will reopen tomorrow, following news two pupils were tested for coronavirus.

Parents were alerted shortly after 6pm last night.

The school is awaiting the test results.

Students from Rickmansworth School went on a ski trip to northern Italy last week but did not visit the regions currently in lockdown.