Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Questions (817, 845)

David Cullinane

Question:

817. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Health if contraceptive services are considered an essential service; if not, the reason; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8475/21]

View answer

Róisín Shortall

Question:

845. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health if beauty clinics offering botox and other injectable treatments are deemed essential under level 5 restrictions; if travel to a botox clinic is considered an essential journey; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8548/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 817 and 845 together.

As you aware, Ireland is at level 5 of the Government's medium-term Strategy Resilience and Recovery 2020-2021: Plan for Living with COVID-19. This 5-level framework sets out what is permitted for social or family gatherings, work and public transport, bars, hotels and restaurants, exercise activities and religious services, at that moment in time.

The public health measures recognise the need to reduce congregation and interactions between people to reduce the transmission of Covid-19. The number of people allowed to gather in different scenarios in the plan is based on a review of international practice and the judgment of public health experts. It seeks to balance the risks of different types of gatherings against the desire to allow normal activities to proceed in so far as possible. The measures in place for each level reflect the prevailing disease situation and recognise that we can and must prioritise some activities over others.

At level 5, all non-essential retail, and all non-essential services must remain closed. Information in relation to the current public health measures in relation to essential retail/essential services at level 5 is available at:- https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/2dc71-level-5/

The list of Human Health and Social Work Activities considered essential at Level 5 can be viewed at:- https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/c9158-essential-services/#human-health-and-social-work-activities

Under the current public health measures at level 5, you should stay at home except for travel for work, education or other essential purposes and are permitted to take exercise within 5km of home. Further information on travel restrictions within Ireland is available here:- https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/2dc71-level-5/#travel-restrictions

The Health Act 1947 (Section 31A - Temporary Restrictions) (COVID-19) (NO. 10) Regulations 2020 Regulation (S.I. 701 of 2020), sets out the essential businesses or services under the current public health measures and the exemptions to domestic travel restrictions. Statutory Instruments related to the Covid-19 pandemic are available here: https://www.gov.ie/en/collection/1f150-view-statutory-instruments-related-to-the-covid-19-pandemic/