A testing pod has been set up outside Great Western Hospital to keep possible Coronavirus victims separate from other patients.

One worried Swindon mother who did not wish to be identified told the Advertiser her son was tested for the infection there when he began showing potential symptoms after returning from a school trip to northern Italy over the half term.

She told the Adver: “Our son has been to the pod at the hospital to have swabs done because he’s been symptomatic. It didn’t happen straight away - the first signs appeared on Tuesday. I think he should have been told to stay home for a week before returning to school.

“The area they went to was quite far from the quarantine but in hindsight, I would have stopped him going on the trip, kept him home and lost the money we paid. We have to wait a few days for the test results and he’s self-isolating until then, it’s worrying.”

A relative of two children on the same trip who wanted to be anonymous said that they too had tests carried out since returning home.

She said: “A bad case of flu won’t affect them because they’re young and healthy. My worry is that, if either of them test positive for it, they may have passed it on to elderly relatives or vulnerable people in the community. That’s how outbreaks spread.”

Lawn Manor Academy and Royal Wootton Bassett Academy organised the skiing trip and yesterday parents claimed they were being left in the dark.

RWBA headteacher George Croxford would only say: “We have followed Public Health England guidance which is that schools should stay open and people should carry on as normal unless they have the symptoms, in which case they should self-isolate and call 111.

“Our absolute commitment is to the safety of our students, staff and our communities, we will inform our students, staff and parents immediately.”

A spokesman for NHS England told the Adver: "Following national guidance, all hospitals are putting in place NHS 111 pods at their emergency departments, so that anyone attending hospital with symptoms of the virus can be kept isolated from other patients and avoid causing unnecessary pressure in A&E.

“Over the coming weeks, many more of us may need to self-isolate at home for a period to reduce this virus's spread. ”