WINGHAM, ONT. -- They’re home - 41 students from Listowel District Secondary School and five chaperones, including the LDSS principal, returned home on Saturday, after nine days in Great Britain.

The students left Listowel on March 12, two days before Canadians were urged to return to the country amidst COVID-19 concerns.

While they tried to secure earlier flights home, none were available, so they all came home late Saturday.

The trip raised concerns in the community; about why it was allowed and whether the students would property self-isolate.

Caden Reyes was one of the LDSS students on the trip. He says they were sanitizing their hands a lot, and were together in smaller groups because of COVID concerns.

He says people’s quick judgement stung, “There are some that were supporting us and were there to help us, but a large majority seemed to be quick to judge. They went right at us, and it almost seemed like they were fear-mongering."

LDSS Principal Kim Crawford was one of the chaperones on the trip. She says there were no travel advisories when the trip was approved, but lessons were learned.

She says not all students had the proper cancellation insurance, despite it being a requirement for school-sanctioned travel. Crawford says the board in investigating how that happened, although she says it played no role in the trip moving forward.

“Some of our families did not have cancellation insurance,” Crawford says. “To prevent this from happening again, there are checkpoints that will be put in place so it doesn’t happen for any international trips through the Avon Maitland District School Board in the future.'

The students and chaperones have started their 14 days of post-trip self-isolation, and they say they plan on taking it very seriously.

They understand the health of their community relies upon it.