18 December 2020

COVID-19: Alert level 4 announced in Wales

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

The First Minister for Wales has announced new national restrictions to help reduce the number of new coronavirus infections across Wales. Some measures will come into force from the close of trading on Christmas Eve and the country will enter COVID alert level 4 (stay at home lockdown) from 28 December 2020.

Read a letter from David O’Sullivan, Chief Optometric Adviser, here: English, Welsh.

How will this affect optometrists?

Patients can leave their home to access local health services, including eye care. All practices may remain open to provide services and should continue to follow our amber phase guidance.

  • When prioritising and scheduling appointments you should continue to consider the clinical needs and presenting symptoms relative to the risk of sight loss and harm to the patient. Routine appointments should be scheduled in line with prioritisation, if there is the appropriate capacity to do so, once all urgent and essential appointments have been managed.
  • You should offer telephone and video review to patients in the first instance to determine COVID-19 status and level of eye care needed.
  • Continue to follow the College’s guidance on infection control, social distancing and PPE.

Restrictions and the Scheme for Registration

If you, or your practice, is involved in helping a trainee to progress through the Scheme for Registration, direct observation assessments can continue to take place across all four UK nations. Assessors are also still able to travel between areas and nations to carry out a direct observation, if necessary.

Find out more

If you would like further advice or guidance, please first refer to our comprehensive COVID-19 guidance. If you’re still unsure, please contact our clinical advice service or the education team for queries related to the Scheme for Registration. 

This article was correct at time of publication.