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Tier 2 and Tier 3 lockdowns deliver restrictive measures similar to those employed by the Government in mid-March this year. Over the summer, people had enjoyed testing altered arrangements which reestablished social movement across the UK, including a reverse on business and public service limitations. Now some of these limitations have returned, people will wonder which services they can continue to use.
Can you go to the dentist in Tier 2?
Tier 2 introduces measures which go one step further than the Tier 1 national restrictions.
They include curbs on social interaction, such as a limit on household mixing on top of restrictions already in place.
These currently require people to abide by a “rule of six” which prevents gatherings of more than six people, and a 10pm curfew for pubs and restaurants.
Some confusion has arisen about the rule on inter-household mixing indoors, however.
In theory, this would prevent people from sitting together in a doctor or dentist’s waiting room which houses different families.
But authorities have quickly confirmed the rules differ when it comes to “reasonably necessary” situations.
The British Dental Association (BDA) said people can still visit their dentists if living under lockdown.
They said: “There has been concern raised regarding people from different households meeting in dentists’ waiting rooms which conflicts with the latest COVID restrictions announced earlier in the week.
“We can confirm that while the new guidance does restrict gathering indoors of two or more people, it also states that there are exceptions which include gatherings that are ‘reasonably necessary’ such as for ‘work purposes’.
The advice applies across each lockdown tier, including the maximum third level of the system.
Varying travel restrictions from the devolved nations will not prevent people from getting dentists appointments either.
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The BDA said rules preventing travel to Wales would not affect people who need to enter the country for dentistry.
They wrote: “People from parts of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland that have high rates of coronavirus will be banned from travelling to Wales from Friday, October 16.
“Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford said the move was needed ‘to prevent the spread of infection within Wales’ and elsewhere in the UK.
“However, this will not affect dentists and dental patients who cross the English-Welsh border for work or to access dental care.”
“You should reassure staff and patients that this counts as essential travel and is therefore unaffected.”
If a patient has symptoms or a positive test result for COVID-19 they can still get urgent dental care.
Those without urgent dental needs “should be triaged” according to the BDA.
The Scottish and Northern Irish First Ministers have not yet placed a ban on travel into their respective countries.
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