I would like to welcome you all to our virtual meeting this afternoon using Microsoft Teams. Apologies have been received from Deputy Pádraig O'Sullivan. The Ceann Comhairle of the Dáil, Deputy Ó Fearghaíl, and the Cathaoirleach of the Seanad, Senator Mark Daly, have appealed to everybody in the parliamentary community to continue to follow public health advice, wear a mask and maintain social distancing. On behalf of the committee, I send our best regards to the Ceann Comhairle, who is currently isolating because of the pandemic.
I request that members, witnesses and staff use wipes and hand sanitiser provided to clean seats and desks which are shared so as to supplement regular sanitation. This will help to mitigate the risk of Covid-19, including the Delta variant, spreading among the parliamentary community. Members and all in attendance are asked to exercise personal responsibility in protecting themselves and others from the risk of contracting Covid-19. You are strongly advised to practise good hand hygiene and will notice that every second seat has been removed in order to facilitate social distancing. I urge you not to move any chair from its current position. You should always maintain an appropriate level of social distancing during and after the meeting. Masks, preferably of a medical grade, should always be worn during the meeting, except when speaking. I ask for your full co-operation in this.
I propose we approve the minutes of the private and public meetings on 11 November 2021. These have already been approved at a virtual private meeting, but we must do so in public session for procedural reasons. Are they agreed? Agreed.
I will read some formal notices. I remind members of the constitutional requirements that they must be physically present within the confines of the place in which Parliament has chosen to sit, namely, Leinster House, in order to participate in public meetings. I will not permit a member to participate where they are not adhering to this constitutional requirement. Therefore, any member who attempts to participate from outside the precincts will be asked to leave the meeting.