FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Fort Worth Sister Cities has postponed a summer student exchange trip to China, and could postpone an Italy trip next week, as the COVID-19 virus spreads.
Planned travel next week to other European cities, as well as summer trips to Japan are still on, but could also be affected.
Groups planning to travel to Fort Worth from those cities have not had their plans affected yet by the impact of the virus.
The organization arranges the trips with high school students, as part of a larger effort to expand international relationships and promote the city around the globe.
CEO Mae Ferguson said Thursday they were in regular contact with partners in other cities in order to make decisions on travel.
While it could still be safe to go to some of the locations, she said they have to consider if schools, businesses and cultural sites would still be open, or if travel groups might instead end up stuck at an airport or hotel.
“We’re going to have a good opportunity for our students in the safest environment for them,” said Katie Wharry, a community engagement director for the organization.
Up to 15 students travel in the groups. Some of the students who had planned to go to China, opted for a trip to Japan instead when the trip was postponed.
Groups are still planning to travel to Hungary, France and Mexico over spring break.