AS Orange City Council prepares to welcome a smaller-than-planned group of Japanese exchange students, James Sheahan Catholic High School is considering cancelling student trips to Japan and Sri Lanka.
A decision will be made on James Sheahan's Easter trips to Japan and Sri Lanka this Friday.
A school spokeswoman said principal Peter Meers was closely monitoring the situation.
"He has indicated that the school is now looking at the very real possibility of either delaying or cancelling the excursions based on the evolving coronavirus spread and global concerns," she said.
She said the school would work closely with parents.
THE global coronavirus scare has forced the cancellation of two school exchange trips to Orange and Bathurst, but plans for one Orange school to accept Japanese students remain in place.
Orange schools James Sheahan Catholic High School and Orange High School had organised visits from Toyo University High School and Ushiku Senior High School in Japan from Wednesday, with Orange City Council to host a welcome for both groups on Tuesday, March 10.
James Sheahan cancelled the visit but Orange High School has decided to proceed.
A delegation of more than 200 visitors from the Toyo University High School in Japan had been due to arrive in Bathurst next Friday as part of a long-standing relationship with the city.
Bathurst Regional Council had organised 79 families to billet the students for the planned four-day trip which would have included visits to local high schools and attractions and a cultural exchange concert at Bathurst High School.
But on Thursday, Bathurst council's tourism and visitor services manager, Dan Cove, confirmed the trip had been cancelled as a safety-first measure as the world came to grips with the ongoing coronavirus emergency.
Japan's prime minister, Shinzo Abe, asked schools to close for a month in response to pressure to control the virus in the lead-up to the Tokyo Olympics.
"The group has completely cancelled their travel to Australia due to concerns regarding the current coronavirus outbreak and fears of contracting the disease whilst travelling and potential quarantine restrictions on the group's return to Japan," Mr Cove said.
James Sheahan followed on Friday, with deputy principal Michelle Whiteley telling parents the school had cancelled the trip as a sign of the school "cooperating with the [Japanese] government".
"We are also hopeful that the extreme measures being taken will allow Japan to host the 2020 Olympics and for us to keep our travel plans alive for both our April and September trips," she said.
An Orange High School spokesman responded late on Friday evening, saying in recent weeks, the high school had regularly checked advice related to the risks of COVID-19 from the World Health Organisation, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, NSW Health and the Department of Education, as well as liaising with Ushiku Eishin high school.
"Based on that advice, they then consulted the parents of host families," he said.
"Following that consultation the school and families decided to maintain their offer to host visiting students, as arranged."
Orange council spokesman Nick Redmond said the schools organised the two exchange visits and the council was pleased to host the welcome event.
"Orange City Council encourages the schools and parents to consider the advice produced by national health authorities as they make their decisions."
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