A number of schools across the UK have closed their doors as fears of coronavirus outbreaks grow.
Meanwhile, many, including at least two in Wales, have sent pupils home who have recently returned from areas highly infected with the virus.
There will also be a dramatic increase in coronavirus tests to ensure that the virus is not spreading unnoticed in the UK among people who have yet to show any symptoms.
The virus has now killed over 2,600 people and infected nearly 80,000 others in more than 30 countries, including 11 countries in Europe.
Switzerland, Croatia and Austria have confirmed all their first cases, while 1,000 vacationers staying in a hotel in Tenerife are quarantined after an Italian doctor who stayed there tested positive.
On Tuesday, Cransley School in Cheshire announced that it will close for the remainder of the week after NHS clinical services have advised that staff and pupils who have taken a ski trip to Bormio should self-quarantine.
Despite the advice that the school should remain open, the principal said he had decided to close to “minimize the possible spread of the infection.”
“During this time, the school will be able to conduct deep cleansing and monitor test results among those pupils who are currently experiencing flu-like symptoms,” he said.
Middlesbrough’s Trinity Catholic College and Cheshire’s Brine Leas School also closed their doors.
Trinity Catholic College said that a “small number of staff and pupils” started showing mild flu-like symptoms following a ski trip.
Since then, about a dozen schools have decided to send pupils home who had recently returned from areas where the virus is rampant.
Pupils at Ysgol Friars and St David’s College in North Wales were asked to quarantine after returning from an Italian ski trip.
Meanwhile, Haverfordwest High VC School pupils who reported feeling sick after a trip to the country were picked up by their parents.
The school is stressing that there is no coronavirus incidence, but three staff members have been sent home as a precaution.
At least 10 additional schools in Cornwall, Yorkshire, Pembrokeshire, Guernsey, Co Antrim, Co Derry and Co Down sent students home after similar trips abroad.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is now advising against all travel, except the essential ones, in 10 small cities in Lombardy and one in Veneto, which are currently isolated due to an ongoing outbreak.
The chief British medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, said schools could be closed and public transport reduced if the coronavirus became a global pandemic.
He said, “There is no secret, there is a variety of things you need to look at, look at things like closing schools, look at things like cutting down on transportation.”
Professor Whitty said families might also be asked to self-isolate themselves if one of them had symptoms of the virus.
To date, 13 patients have tested coronavirus positive in the UK and 7,000 have been tested.
There have been no positive cases of the virus in Wales.