Pubs May Have To Close To Allow Schools To Open, Scientist Warns
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has previously pledged that both primary and secondary schools in the country will have 'full attendance' in September, but Professor Graham Medley said the closure of pubs may be required as part of a 'trade-off' in order for this to happen.
When asked whether pubs could have to shut for schools to reopen, Professor Medley - a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) - told the BBC: "I think that's quite possible.
"I think we're in a situation whereby most people think that opening schools is a priority for the health and well-being of children and that when we do that we are going to reconnect lots of households.
"And so actually, closing some of the other networks, some of the other activities may well be required to enable us to open schools.
"It might come down to a question of which do you trade-off against each other and then that's a matter of prioritising, do we think pubs are more important than schools?"
Sorry, I mean no - no Professor Medley, schools are definitely more important than pubs.
It comes after Johnson announced on Friday that the Government would 'squeeze the brake pedal' on lockdown easing amid a rise in infection rates. This brake pedal squeezing meant a raft of measures due to take effect this weekend were postponed by at least a fortnight.
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These measures included: the reopening of casinos, bowling alleys, skating rinks and some close-contact services, as well as the return of indoor performances and pilots of large gatherings in sports venues and conference centres.
Lockdown measures have also been tightened in Greater Manchester, as well as parts of West Yorkshire and East Lancashire. The tightening means people from different households are no longer able to meet indoors.
More specifically, people from different houses can't meet in each others houses or gardens, or in restaurants or pubs; however, they can still meet in beer gardens and public outdoor spaces - so long as groups are from just two households or don't exceed six people from multiple households.
The guidelines state: "You can continue to meet in public outdoor spaces including outdoor seating or beer gardens in groups of no more than six people, unless the group includes only people from two households. You cannot meet people you do not live with in a private garden.
"At all times, you should socially distance from people you do not live with - unless they are in your support bubble."
Announcing the decision on Twitter on Thursday night, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "The spread is largely due to households meeting and not abiding to social distancing.
"So from midnight tonight, people from different households will not be allowed to meet each other indoors in these areas.
"We take this action with a heavy heart, but we can see increasing rates of Covid across Europe and are determined to do whatever is necessary to keep people safe."
Featured Image Credit: PA