22 July 2021

Amber phase guidance: Update statement

We have updated our Amber phase COVID-19 guidance to help practices across the UK deliver eye care safely and effectively at this stage of the pandemic.

The College has updated its Amber phase COVID-19 guidance to help practices across the UK deliver eye care safely and effectively at this stage of the pandemic. Our position remains clear - practices should continue to remain open for routine services while prioritising patients on a needs and symptoms-led basis. Optometrists and other practice staff should continue to maintain comprehensive infection prevention and control procedures, including wearing of appropriate PPE, to keep patients and practice staff safe as restrictions ease across the UK. 

Based on new public health evidence and government guidance, we have updated our Amber phase COVID-19 guidance and COVID-19 FAQs.

Key highlights include:

  • Appropriate use of disinfecting agents on surfaces and equipment.
  • Safe and proportionate use of disposable PPE.
  • Patient prioritisation management.
  • Reintroduction of Alger brush and microblepharoexfoliation procedures.
  • Managing patients without face coverings.
  • Supply of contact lenses to an expired specification.

We have produced a short video that answers common questions about the Amber guidance. The College are continually reviewing the evidence and working with public health bodies across the UK to ensure our COVID-19 guidance remains comprehensive and up-to-date.

We are also aware that the rules around self-isolation are under review across the UK, so we recommend that you check your Nation’s government website for the latest information. We will endeavour to keep members updated of any future changes when each Nation has confirmed their policy.

If you have any questions or concerns relating to our COVID-19 guidance, please contact our clinical advice service.

This article was correct at time of publication. For the latest COVID-19 information, please visit the COVID-19 page.

Related further reading

This article reviews the research into digital technology innovation and home monitoring in the management of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and glaucoma.

This article summarises the key findings of a survey taken by members of the College of Optometrists investigating changes in clinical optometric practice in the UK as a result of the pandemic including the challenges and benefits identified.

COVID-19 and its impact on eyecare: a review