A SECONDARY school which had to send scores of pupils and eight staff members home over concerns they had been exposed to coronavirus will be closed for the rest of the week.

Trinity Catholic College in Middlesbrough is among several schools that have announced closures across the UK despite health officials recommending that they stay open.

Yesterday, school bosses revealed 36 pupils and staff members who had been on a skiing trip in Northern Italy had been told to stay at home and self-isolate.

However, the school later said it was taking precuationary measures after a "small number of staff and pupils" had started showing mild flu-like symptoms following the trip.

In a statement published by the school on Wednesday, it said: "Thank you once again for your patience and support at this time. School is closed for a deep clean and therefore the phones cannot be manned."

So far, Britons who have been in lockdown regions of Italy, including Lombardy and Veneto, have been told they should self-isolate at home for at least 14 days even if they don't have any symptoms.

Public Health England confirmed it was not advising schools to shut in an attempt to stop the spread of coronavirus - although the organisation's medical director admitted that schools faced "difficult decisions."

Paul Cosford of Public Health England said on the BBC's Radio 4 Today programme: "Schools have to take difficult decisions given the complexity of issues that they are facing.

"What I would say is that our general advice is not to close schools."