THE parents of children at a school in Benalmadena have lashed out after 17 of the children contracted COVID-19 while on a school trip.

The infections occurred in third year students at the Torrequebrada International School in the Costa del Sol resort after a trip to the Sierra de Cazorla Park in Jaen.

Parents are angry that the trip was described to them as ‘mandatory’ and that there was no option to pull out despite concerns over student safety.

The trip was part of the Optimal Project, a scheme that brings school children out of the classroom to experience outdoor activities and sports.

While the idea of the project is a good one, parents are angry that the option to postpone or delay the trip was not given to them in order for more people to be vaccinated.

“With a pandemic, what need was there to make this compulsory trip,” said one parent to the Efe.

Parents also lamented the fact that according to some of the children attending, were placed in four-bed rooms at a local hotel, with some even claiming to have slept in the same double bed.

The school has hit back, explaining that every possible safety procedure was taken before and during the trip.

“All of the children and staff involved took an antigen test on the Friday before they left and they all came back negative,” said a spokesman from the school.

“Whilst we took every possible precaution, it is unfortunate that they were in contact with a positive person at some point during the trip.”

The children have now been isolated pending a PCR test and are currently studying from home, and the hotel where the children were staying has been informed and anyone in contact with the children have been notified.

The school is keen to point out that of the 47 students that were attending the trip, none of them were present in the classroom prior and that the school is yet to register a COVID-19 case among its classrooms despite entertaining 750 international students.

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