COVID-19

As lockdown restrictions are in the process of being eased across the UK, there has been no indication from each UK nation’s health and government bodies of plans to step down infection prevention and control procedures (IPC) or social distancing for primary or secondary healthcare settings in the coming months. While we constantly review our COVID-19 guidance to ensure it is up to date, we anticipate the Amber phase guidance will continue for some period of time, and potentially for the rest of 2021.

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COVID-19 Clinical guidance

Our regularly updated clinical and professional guidance has been developed to ensure that you can practise safely and effectively through all phases of the pandemic

Essential reading

Read on for the answers to your COVID-19 questions, covering a range of topics from driving and HES referrals to PPE and tonometry.

We provide a range of resources for optometrists to use in practice or remotely, including template forms, posters and downloads, and a visual acuity chart and other resources for remote consultations. Some of these have been developed exclusively for our members.

The College, alongside representatives from ABDO, AOP, FODO and GOC, have answered your questions on delivering eyecare during the Amber phase.

We’ve been working with governments and eye health organisations across the UK to ensure that you have the all the latest news, information and regulations relating to optometry and COVID-19 in your nation.

Throughout the pandemic we’ve been producing videos, podcasts, webinars and journal articles to keep you informed, entertained and help support you through the lockdown. We’ve also developed new learning materials to help you adapt your practice – and gain CPD points.

Since our first update on 20 March 2020, right at the start of lockdown, we’ve been providing timely, relevant news, information and guidance that you can trust.

More on COVID-19

Today’s announcement will see more areas in England move to Tier 4 lockdown arrangements.

We summarise the current evidence relating to the new variant of SARS-CoV-2 virus for optometrists.

We explain how additional restrictions will affect optometrists working in Tier 4 areas.

We explain how the additional restrictions announced in Northern Ireland will affect optometrists.

We explain how the additional restrictions announced in Wales will affect optometrists.

Participate in the government-funded UK-REACH study to help understand why people from certain ethnic minorities are more likely to have severe COVID-19.

The College has been involved in discussions with NHSE to ensure optometrists are given access to COVID-19 vaccinations as early as possible.

Optical bodies have grouped together to recognise the efforts of the optical profession to provide the best possible care for patients throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

We explain how the additional restrictions announced in Scotland will affect optometrists.

In line with the government’s new national restrictions in England, we have advised members that all practices remain open to provide services.

Update on optometric practice following the Government's announcement of new national restrictions in England

As the pandemic continues to affect people’s lives across the UK, interest in a viable vaccine is growing. The College's Director of Research, Michael Bowen looks at what guidance optometrists can offer patients on potential COVID-19 vaccines.

Mark Drakeford, First Minister for Wales, has announced additional restrictions from 6pm on Friday 23 October 2020 for two weeks.

We are aware of a petition regarding examination testing times during the pandemic. Read our statement.

College of Optometrists issues advice as part of National Eye Health Week

Podcast: Martin talks to Professor John Lawrenson FCOptom about his OPO paper discussing the evidence relating to COVID-19 and the eye, methods of transmission and practice implications.

With COVID-19 affecting so many areas of our lives, Helen Gilbert looks at the impact the pandemic is having on optometric and ophthalmological research.

The vision sets out three key principles and recommendations for the development and governance of high quality eye care service.

The pandemic continues to affect the way primary and secondary eye care services are provided for patients in England.

Non-medical contact lens fitting can now take place during the amber phase of the pandemic.