UK dental practices to remain closed following lockdown update

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UK dental practices are set to remain closed following the latest lockdown update.

In an address broadcast on Sunday 10th May, Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined tentative easing strategies, which will begin with some people going back to work and the introduction of unlimited outdoor exercise from Wednesday 13th May. The second phase, which is due to come into play no earlier than June 1st, involves some primary school children going back to the classroom and the gradual reopening of non-essential shops. Later, in July, it may be possible for restaurants and hair and beauty salons to open.

At present, it is not clear when dental practices can reopen, but for the time being, routine appointments will not be available. High street clinics have been closed since March, but patients have access to advice and guidance via telephone and video call consultations. Emergency dental care is also available through a national network of urgent care hubs. Patients can obtain an appointment at a local urgent care centre through telephone triage provided by their regular dentist or by NHS 111 in the case of patients not having a dentist or individuals needing support outside of working hours. 

The government is monitoring the situation very closely, and ministers have stressed that changes are conditional and will be guided by the data, most notably, the R (the infection rate). Dentists will be notified on updated plans as they become available.

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