A school will be shut until Monday as two 'members of the school community' are reportedly being tested for coronavirus.

Rickmansworth School in Scots Hill, Croxley Green,  sent an email out to parents and carers earlier today, shortly after 6pm, (February 26) explaining the current situation at the school.

The email, which we're told is genuine, has already been circulated widely on social media and several copies have been sent to the Observer.

Click this link for an updated article published on Thursday confirming Rickmansworth School will reopen on Friday

The Observer has seen both an email sent via the head teacher's PA to parents at 6.16pm today and a text message sent to parents at 6.38pm which informed parents the school will be closed until Monday.

Hillingdon Times:

Barriers have been put up outside Rickmansworth School

In the email, head teacher Matthew Fletcher says he was advised by both Hertfordshire County Council and Public Health England and the decision was made to shut the school at 4pm today.

Hillingdon Times:

The email sent out today

The email adds that two people are being tested for coronavirus, and the results will take 24 to 48 hours to come back.

The Observer has been told that pupils returned from a skiing trip in northern Italy last week.

We understand they were in Piancavello, Friuli-Venezia Giulia- a region which borders the Veneto region - Veneto being one of two regions in Italy where several towns have been put on lockdown.

However, Piancavello is some distance away, believed to be around 100 miles, from a town that has been put on lockdown.

Authorities in Italy reported on Tuesday night that the number of people infected in the country grew to 322, or by 45 per cent in 24 hours, and deaths of patients with the virus rose to 11.

Britons who have been in lockdown regions of Italy - including Lombardy and Veneto - were told they should self-isolate at home for 14 days even if they have no symptoms.

Public Health England has confirmed it is not advising schools to shut in an attempt to stem the spread of coronavirus.

However, it appears Rickmansworth School is taking precautionary measures.

The email sent out by the school reads: “We currently have two members of the school community that are being tested for coronavirus and, accordingly, Public Health England’s advice at 4pm today was to close the school until the outcome of the tests were known.

“We anticipate the results will be available in the next 24-48 hours. Accordingly, we do not expect the school to re-open until Monday, March 2 at the earliest.

“Over the forthcoming days there may be other students that are being tested for coronavirus.”

The email added that “it is essential” that parents tell the school if their child is being tested for coronavirus.

Shortly before 11pm, Rickmansworth School tweeted: "Rickmansworth School is closed until Monday 2nd March. Further details have been provided to parents via parentmail and text message."

Meanwhile John F Kennedy Catholic School in Hemel Hempstead confirmed to the Observer earlier today that an email sent out to parents yesterday stating a pupil was in intensive care with coronavirus was a hoax.