LONDON, ONT -- A total 169 students have been told the school trips to Europe they have been planning for months will not be happening, just days before they were set to take flight.

The Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB) has confirmed to CTV News that eight trips planned over March break are cancelled due to coronavirus fears.

The cancellations affect a total of seven schools; however the board did not provide a list of schools.

The trips that have been cancelled were all heading for central Europe.

A ninth trip planned for Ireland is currently under review.

The move to cancel the trips is not unusual as boards across the country have been taking similar precautions.

Italy is one of the hardest countries hit by the virus in Europe, with nearly 1,700 coronavirus infections and 34 deaths.

The federal government announced Monday a warning against non-essential travel to eight regions in northern Italy.

TVDSB COVID-19 letter