THE Principal at Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools has confirmed that Chinese pupils at the boarding school will not return home to China for the upcoming February half-term holiday due to fears over the coronavirus outbreak.

James Murphy-O’Connor says the school has taken the decision despite none of the pupils being from Hubei province, the area most affected by the disease.

“As a family of schools we have been monitoring of the virus in China very closely,” he said.

“We are supporting all of our overseas children and parents at this difficult time, when there is still so much uncertainty about possible international travel restrictions to contain the spread of the virus.”


Chief medical officers across the UK, including the officer for Wales, confirmed last week that cases of the virus were likely in Wales, and recommended extra caution for those travelling to and from China.

Mr Murphy-O’Connor said that the decision had been taken in light of those concerns and recent advice.

“Our boarders from China will stay in the UK with their guardians over half term.,” he added.

“For those pupils who cannot stay with their guardian, we will be opening up a boarding house with appropriate staff in place.

“Our primary concern is the health and welfare of each and every member of the school and the wider local community. 

“We are extremely grateful to everyone for their ongoing support and offers of help.

“We will continue to track government advice and will update parents, staff and guardians should the situation develop.”