Pubs may need to shut down in order for schools in England to reopen next month, an expert has told the BBC.

Prof Graham Medley, a scientists advising the UK government, said there might need to be a "trade-off", with pubs closing so schools can open.

He said the re-opening of schools was seen as a "priority" for children's wellbeing.

On Friday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said any further easing of lockdown restrictions would be delayed, as the country continued to experience rising Covid-19 numbers.


The UK had planned to ease lockdown rules this weekend and allow for the re-opening of places such as casinos and bowling alleys, as well as a return of indoor gatherings for performances. Those have now been postponed for at least another fortnight.

The move to increase wedding receptions to allow up to 30 people has also been put on hold as coronavirus cases continue to rise across the UK.

England's chief medical officer Prof Chris Whitty says the country has "probably reached near the limit or the limits" of what it can re-open.

This means that, from now on, "trade-offs" should be expected, with some places having to close so others can open.

Pupils are expected to return to UK classrooms next month.

"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," Prof Medley, chairman of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) sub-group on pandemic modelling, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"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?"