20 July 2021

COVID-19: Alert level 0 set to be announced in Wales

We explain how the easing of restrictions in Wales will affect optometrists.

Following Wales' move into alert level 1 of their four-tier system on 17 July, the First Minister has announced that Wales will be moving to level 0 from 7 August, provided the public health situation allows.

Read a letter from David O’Sullivan, Chief Optometric Adviser: 

How will this affect optometrists?

We have released a joint statement with ABDO (19 July 2021) reminding practices across the UK, including Wales at alert level 1, to continue to follow our Amber guidance. This will also apply should the anticipated move to level 0 take place.

This means all members of the practice team should continue the sessional use of fluid resistant surgical masks (FRSM). Use of face coverings by members of the public will remain a legal requirement in all indoor public places, including optometric practices, and applies to everyone aged 11 and over.  We have published joint sector FAQs to help with scenarios in which patients cannot or will not wear a face covering.

All practices should continue to follow the standard operating procedure (SOP) for optometry settings and are to remain in the Amber phase of our guidance. This means they should continue to:

  • maintain pre-practice / upon entry COVID symptom triage
  • follow current IPC guidance, including PPE
  • ensure social distancing remains in place for optometric settings
  • maintain patient triage and prioritisation
  • sanitise frames
  • maintain good ventilation throughout the practice
  • maintain regular lateral flow testing for practice staff.

All of these measures will help minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission and give the public confidence that they can access eye care safely. We will continue to monitor updates to public health advice and support eye care service delivery as the situation evolves.

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.

This article was correct at time of publication.