Experts warn of choice between schools and pubs as coronavirus infections grow

According to a pandemic expert, pubs may need to be closed before schools can be reopened due to concerns about an increase in infections among young people.

Professor Graham Medley, member of the Scientific Advisory Group on Emergency (Sage), said ministers may need to consider closing pubs in England so classes can start again next month.

Boris Johnson previously agreed that both primary and secondary schools will return "with full attendance" in September.

However, after Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty predicted that the country would be "close to the border" after the coronavirus was blocked from opening up to society, Prof. Medley said that a "compromise" may need to be made to ensure that full-time education can be resumed.

The warning came when the prime minister announced a slowdown in easing. Planned easing for the leisure and beauty sectors was delayed after an increase in Covid 19 cases was recorded.

When asked whether pubs had to be closed before schools could be reopened, Prof. Medley, chairman of the Sage pandemic modeling subgroup, told BBC Radio 4's Today broadcast: "I think it is quite possible.

"I think we are in a situation where most people believe that opening schools is a priority for children's health and wellbeing and that if we do this we will reconnect many households."

Coronavirus Whitty
Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty suggested that the easing of the blockade has reached its limits (Pippa Fowles / 10 Downing Street / Crown Copyright).

“So if we close some of the other networks, some other activities may be required to open schools.

"It could be a question that you weigh up against each other. Then it's about setting priorities. Do we think pubs are more important than schools?"

Jonathan Ashworth, Minister of Health for Shadow Work, told Sky News that getting our children back to school should be a "national priority," and the country must "do everything we can" to quell the virus in August .

In the meantime, companies that expect reopening in England have been ordered by the government to keep their shutters closed, despite the fact that the holiday program is preventing the job loss from gradually easing on Saturday.

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<p>Bowling alleys and other leisure facilities should welcome customers on Saturday for the first time since the blockade was introduced in March, while small wedding receptions and indoor performances should resume.</p>
<p>Contacting beauty salons such as facials and makeup applications should also be resumed. However, the prime minister delayed the measures by at least a fortnight, just as employers had previously started paying social security and pension contributions to staff on leave next month.</p>
<p>Labor has warned that bosses have made the "blatant decision" to fire employees or pay a "high financial burden" to keep them in employment, unless the government takes a more flexible approach.</p>
<p>Mr Johnson said at a press conference in Downing Street on Friday that he needed to "press the brake pedal" to ease the restrictions as the spread of Covid-19 in the community increased for the first time since May.</p>
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Coronavirus PM
Prime Minister Boris Johnson postponed Friday's planned block easing for some sectors (PA video)

Prof. Medley, an academic from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said the increase in positive diagnoses was mainly seen among young people.

"The age distribution of infections has changed, moving to younger age groups, and so it is likely that we will not see the number of hospitalizations related to infections as high as in March," he told the BBC.

"But the big fear is that the virus is getting out of control and we are getting into a situation where there is so much virus that it will inevitably spread to all sections of the population."

The news came after local blocking measures for parts of the north-west of England and areas of West Yorkshire were announced this week, banning people from different households who meet indoors or in gardens after an increase in virus cases.

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<p>The new rules also prohibited members of two different households from mixing in pubs, restaurants and other restaurants. However, these shops remain open to visitors who come individually or from the same household.</p>
<p>Experts have warned that the National Statistics Office's report of an increase in the number of people who tested positive for coronavirus in England, with more than 4,000 new cases believed to occur daily last week, more localized Bans, including travel restrictions, could mean reapplying.</p>
<p>Wise participant Professor John Edmunds said there are "worrying signs that require action to reverse the trend".</p>
<p>Dr. Konstantin Blyuss, a math reader at the University of Sussex, said: “Because this infection is transmitted primarily through direct human contact, it is inevitable that some of the blocking measures will be implemented, and may need to be, at least locally in the regions with the highest growth in some cases some additional restrictions on travel between regions will be reintroduced. "</p>
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