26 March 2021

Easing of lockdown restrictions across the UK

Eyecare provision as lockdown eases across the UK.

As lockdown restrictions have begun to be eased across the UK, we have had no indication from each UK nation’s health and government bodies that there are plans to step down infection prevention and control procedures (IPC) or social distancing measures for primary or secondary healthcare settings in the coming months. While we constantly review our COVID-19 guidance to ensure it is up to date, we anticipate the Amber phase guidance will continue for some period and potentially for the rest of 2021.
 
However, as an increasing proportion of the population receives the vaccination and lockdown restrictions ease, we will continue to review the available evidence and ensure the Amber phase guidance remains appropriate for the level of risk posed by the pandemic both now and into winter for a vaccinated population.
 
The transition from our 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, IPC requirements, and good practice on capacity and patient prioritisation. However, some changes to professional practice such as wearing of relevant PPE may become permanent for the continued delivery of safer eye care. College COVID-19 guidance has been developed to ensure that you can practise safely and effectively in healthcare settings, and is separate to guidance for the retail sector.

This article was correct at time of publication. 

Related further reading

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

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

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