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Pubs in England may have to close to control coronavirus

  • Pubs in England may have to close to control coronavirus, says Sage adviser
    Government modeling expert Graham Medley says reopening schools is a priority Pubs in England may have to close to control coronavirus, says Sage adviser
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Society
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Government modeling expert Graham Medley says reopening schools is a priority

The government may have to consider closing pubs in England to control the transmission of the coronavirus and to enable schools to reopen after the summer holidays, one of its top scientific advisers has said.

Prof Graham Medley, who chairs the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) sub-group on pandemic modeling, said that reopening schools was a priority for the wellbeing of children and that some other activities might have to stop to control the infection rate.

The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine academic told BBC Radio 4's Today program: “I think we're in a situation whereby most people think that opening schools is a priority for the health and wellbeing 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?”

Boris Johnson raised the threat on Friday of a second national lockdown as he paused new freedoms scheduled this weekend amid fears that any further reopening of the economy could trigger a full-blown resurgence of the virus. Prof Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, said the UK had “probably reached near the limit of what we can do” if the virus was to be kept under control.