The British may have to trade their pubs for the safety of their pupils in the face of coronavirus.
With virus cases on the rise in the weeks after the United Kingdom reopened pubs and other parts of its society, one British expert told the BBC new restrictions may be needed so schools there could open as planned in September.
“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,” said Graham Medley, a professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
“And so actually, closing some of the other networks, some of the other activities may well be required to enable us to open schools.”
The country had been set to further lift its pandemic-related restrictions this weekend, including the limited return of fans to sports stadiums, and the reopening of casinos and bowling alleys.
But British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Friday said he needed to hit the brakes on the return to normal life.
The PM said there were an estimated 4,900 new infections every day, up from 2,000 a day at the end of June.
People drink and socialize in the street in Soho, London.
Pub customers enjoying their drinks outdoors in Manchester, England.
AFP via Getty Images
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“We just can’t afford to ignore this evidence,” Johnson said at a news conference. “With those numbers creeping up, our assessment is that we should now squeeze (the) brake pedal in order to keep the virus under control.”
When it comes to getting kids back into the classroom in the fall, Medley called the question of imposing new limits on Britains a “trade off.”
“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?” asked Medley who has an advisory group on pandemic modeling.
With Post wires