UEA cancels course trip to Italy following coronavirus outbreaks

The university is looking into the situation financially but wanted to ensure no further expenses for the students

The University of East Anglia has cancelled its course trip to an international festival this year after several reported cases of the coronavirus in Italy.

A group of UEA students and staff had planned to attend the International Journalism Festival in Italy over the Easter holidays, but this was cancelled due to concern for the safety of those going.

Italy is currently the worst affected country in Europe after an outbreak of positive cases in the north region. Although the festival is due to be held in Perugia, south of this affected area, thousands of people are set to attend the event, and staff thought it best to advise the 25 students to remain in the UK.

Mark Wells, the course director of Broadcast and Digital Journalism at UEA, has said the university is looking into the financial outcomes of the cancellation but wanted to ensure no further expenses for the students.

He said the university had been monitoring news updates on the coronavirus for some time before making the decision to cancel the trip.

He said: “It is a developing and changing situation.

“We do not know what is going to happen and on balance it is best not to take people out there. There were about 25 students, it was not a large group.

“Perugia is just south but not that far south. It is just a precaution, it’s four weeks in advance. It seems fair for the students so they can change their plans and the students’ parents may start to worry ‘is it a wise thing to go to that area?’. We have decided it is best and they can make other plans for Easter.”