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The United Kingdom may need to choose between keeping pubs open or allowing schools to reopen it if it wants to keep coronavirus infection rates down, a key member of the group advising the government on Covid-19 response told British media.

“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 prioritizing. Do we think pubs are more important than schools?” Professor Graham Medley, who chairs the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) sub-group on pandemic modeling, told BBC radio Saturday.

Medley’s comments were made a day after crowds were seen in bars and pubs in parts of northern England despite a spike in cases and the reintroduction of some government restrictions in several areas.

Pubs were allowed to reopen across the UK on July 4.

“I think we’re in a situation whereby most people think that opening schools is a priority for the health and wellbeing of children,” Medley said.

On Friday: Prime Minister Boris Johnson said England would “squeeze the brake pedal” on the next phase of reopening in a bid to slow down the rising rates of coronavirus infection.

New restrictions were announced for northern England late Thursday in an effort “to stop the spread of Covid-19.” Across the country, certain venues that were scheduled to reopen Saturday — including , casinos, bowling allies, skating rinks and “the remaining close contact services — will remain shuttered until at least August 15.


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