I propose to take Questions Nos. 672, 684, 691, 699, 700, 737 and 753 together.
The necessary legislative amendments have now been made and the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) has worked with the dental profession and in particular the Dental Council, to provide revised guidance for the profession to allow for the resumption of the safe provision of routine care, including orthodontic care. This is in line with Phase 1 of the Government's Plan for the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, from 18 May.
The Government has put in place a suite of measures to support small, medium and larger businesses that are negatively impacted by COVID-19. The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation has published a Return to Work Safely Protocol, which is designed to support employers and workers to put measures in place that will prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. The Health and Safety Authority also provides information and advice for employers and employees in this regard.
A national approach to the supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the Public Dental Service of the HSE has been initiated. Dentists contracted by the HSE under the Dental Treatment Services Scheme can apply to the HSE for PPE. Additional PPE, above the normal PPE used in dentistry, may currently be required in certain instances depending on the occupational risk assessment of the dentist. However, the Dental Council is deliberating further on this and definitive clarification is awaited as to if and when such PPE may be required.