THE global coronavirus scare has forced the cancellation of a school exchange trip to Bathurst.
A delegation of more than 200 visitors from the Toyo High School in Japan had been due to arrive in Bathurst next Friday, March 6 for the latest instalment of a long-standing relationship with the city.
Bathurst Regional Council had organised almost 80 local 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 council's tourism and visitor services manager Dan Cove confirmed the trip had been cancelled as a safety-first measure as the world comes to grips with the ongoing coronavirus emergency.
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"The group required the co-ordination of 79 families for home hosting of the students, and activities had been planned with Denison College as well as visits to Yarrabin Ranch and a Town Square tour.
"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."
The group has completely cancelled their travel to Australia due to concerns regarding the current coronavirus outbreak ...Tourism and visitor services manager Dan Cove
An update on Thursday said there were now more than 81,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus reported globally, with 2770 confirmed deaths.
However, Prime Minister Scott Morrison, in announcing the federal government's emergency response plan to combat the virus, said Australia's containment measures - including travel bans, airport screenings and quarantining - had so far proven effective.
Toyo students have been coming to the Bathurst region for more than 20 years and Bathurst has had a sister city relationship with the Japanese city of Ohkuma since 1991.
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