21 December 2020

COVID-19: Moving into Tier 4

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

Following the government’s announcement on Saturday, many members in England are now working under Tier 4 restrictions. If you are in a new Tier 4 area, NHS England has confirmed that you should continue to comply with the College’s COVID-19 Guidance - Amber phase, prioritising urgent and essential cases and only seeing routine patients if you have capacity.

The new variant of the virus spreads more easily between people and so we should all ensure that we continue to be scrupulous in our observance of guidance on PPE, social distancing and handwashing. The College will continue to review all government advice and advise you of any further updates. 

Useful links
•    Find out which tier your area is in
•    Information on the new strain of COVID-19
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.

We are keeping delivery of the Scheme for Registration and the January OSCE under review in line with the changing COVID-19 tier restrictions.

This article was correct at time of publication. 

Related further reading

The College’s Clinical Editor on renewed excitement and optimism in the profession.

Becky McCall asks how shifts in working practices caused by the COVID-19 pandemic might change the ophthalmic services workforce.

This study investigates the opinions of contact lens practitioners at the end of lockdown about the changes they implemented.