We have summarised our COVID-19 guidance below, but more detailed guidance on how to adapt your practice during the red and amber phases can be found in our COVID-19 pandemic guidance.

To help our members understand how each Nation’s tiers/levels relate to The College’s red and amber phase we have reviewed and updated the definitions. In order to enter The College’s Red phase a Nation’s government or health system should specify a restriction of primary care services. Eye care and routine sight tests are an essential public health function, which should continue to be available for the public to access wherever possible, providing it is safe to deliver.

All of the UK is currently in the Green phase 

You should now follow our updated Guidance for Professional Practice and your nation’s infection prevention and control guidance for healthcare settings.  

During both the red and amber phases of the pandemic practices should:

Optometrists should:

What this means:

  • When a government or health service suspends routine primary care due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Services provided

What this means:

  • Ongoing COVID-19 pandemic with restrictions in place, but primary care remains open for routine services. Primary care services continue to enable the prioritisation of emergency/urgent and essential care on a needs and symptoms-led basis.

Services provided

What this means:

  • Social distancing requirements removed. COVID-19 related PPE is no longer required*. Prioritisation of care based on each nation’s regular local protocols.

Services provided

  • Resume all services on an open access basis.
  • Re-introduction of aerosol generating procedures

*UKHSA continues to recommend universal masking in all health care settings as a precaution to prevent the risk of transmission of respiratory infections including SARS-CoV-2. All staff should continue to wear a fluid-resistant face mask in the green phase as instructed by UKHSA. All people/ patients visiting health care settings should continue to be recommended to use a face covering as recommended by each nations health system.