19 July 2021

Easement of COVID-19 Restrictions - Delivering Safe Eye Care

Together with ABDO we advise that practices should continue to operate in the amber phase and maintain high infection control standards this summer.

The Association of British Dispensing Opticians and The College of Optometrists advises that practices should continue to operate in the amber phase and maintain high infection control standards this summer.

Today marks the lifting of further lockdown restrictions across many parts of the UK. The Association of British Dispensing Opticians and The College of Optometrists advise the profession in all nations that you should continue to follow the  College’s Amber guidance, your national eye care standard operating procedures and the GOC supporting statements for the amber phase. We continue to work with public health officials and keep the profession updated on any changes.

Practices should continue to:

  • Maintain social distancing where possible
  • Ensure all staff wear a face mask (FRFM) and follow the correct use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Recommend the public continue to wear a face-covering when on practice premises
  • Ensure scrupulous hand washing
  • Ensure good surface disinfection and frame sanitising after every patient episode
  • Encourage all staff to use lateral flow tests and report the results regularly
  • Maintain patient triage and prioritisation
  • Maintain good ventilation throughout the practice.

Maintaining high standards of infection controls, including handwashing and wearing face masks is vital to protect practice teams and remain open to provide eyecare as people begin to move about more freely.

We anticipate the Amber phase guidance will continue for some period and beyond 2021 as we do not know what the Winter will bring. We will continue to monitor the situation, as the  transition from the Amber to Green phase guidance will be guided by each respective nation’s government decisions and subject to a variety of factors, including a sustained reduction in COVID-19 transmission risk and the removal of social distancing and IPC requirements. 

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