COVID-19: Update on testing for optometrists

  • 6 May 2020

We outline COVID-19 testing information for optometrists in all four UK nations.

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Optometrists can now access COVID-19 testing in all UK nations. Government advice states that you should get tested within the first three days of coronavirus symptoms appearing, although testing is considered effective until day five. 
 
Prompt testing ensures that employees with symptoms can confirm COVID-19 as the cause, self-isolate appropriately and return to work when it is safe to do so. If you are self-isolating because a person you live with has symptoms, you can also refer them for testing. Testing is available to household members to help key workers determine if they should be self-isolating.
 
Testing information for optometrists in each of the four UK nations is outlined below. If you are unable to access a test for any reason, email us.
 
England 

Testing is primarily available through regional drive-through test centres, but the government in England has announced that more home tests may become available soon. We advise that optometrists and practices book COVID-19 testing as part of the essential worker scheme.
 
Booking can be made by either the employer or the individual employee. Find out more.
 
Wales 
 
Testing for COVID-19 in Wales is prioritised for health and social care workers and members of their household. 
 
This includes optometrists and practice teams working in open optometric practices. Find out more
 
Scotland
 
Testing for COVID-19 in Scotland is available for symptomatic key workers. All community optometrists in Scotland are category two key workers, and all other practice staff are category three key workers. Key workers can apply to be tested for COVID-19 here.
 
Northern Ireland 
 
Testing for COVID-19 in Northern Ireland is available for essential or key workers who work in essential areas. 
 
Test bookings can be made either by the employer or the individual employee. Note that test results from non-government sources will not be recognised by the HSC.

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