Coronavirus (COVID-19) latest information
Last updated: 10 May 2022
Here you will find the latest updates and links to Government and GOC guidance related to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) emergency.
UK Government guidance
Below are links to UK-wide guidance on COVID-19 and guidance from devolved governments and others in each of the nations of the UK.
- Guidance from NHS England and NHS Improvement for primary care practitioners in optical settings
- NHS England's National infection prevention and control manual for England
- NHS England guidance on deploying the clinical and non-clinical optical workforce to support the NHS clinical delivery plan for COVID-19
- NHS England - join the NHS COVID-19 vaccine team
- Information and resources from the Scottish Government for all optometry practices and staff
Scottish National Infection Prevention and Control Manual (NIPCM)
- Latest information on COVID-19 from Welsh Government
- Latest information on COVID-19 from Public Health Wales
- National infection presentation and control manual for Wales (in partnership with NHS Scotland)
- Welsh Government - Eye health services: coronavirus
We are fortunate that in all four countries of the United Kingdom we have a group of well qualified eye care professionals that can be relied on by the general public and fellow healthcare professionals.
Our Standards for Optical Businesses include the following standards to ensure that patient safety is always prioritised:
- Standard 1.1 Patients can expect to be safe in your care
- Standard 1.2 Patient care is delivered in a suitable environment
- Standard 3.1 Your staff are able to exercise their professional judgement
Corresponding standards are also present in the Standards for Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians and the Standards for Optical Students.
We realise that some of our own legislation and regulations may prevent care being delivered effectively during the pandemic. To address this, we’ve published statements to remove any unnecessary regulatory barriers and to reassure our registrants and the sector that we will support them when they act in good conscience and exercise professional judgement for the public benefit.
COVID-19 statements consultation
In October 2020, we opened a consultation on the content and impact of our COVID-19 statements and the possibility of aligning them with The College of Optometrists’ red-amber-green classification system. Following the consultation, in May 2021, we decided to align all of our statements to The College’s red-amber-green system. This means our statements now clearly indicate on the front page of the statements the phase of the pandemic in which they apply.
- News article: GOC publishes response to COVID-19 statements consultation – 28 May 2021
- COVID-19 Statements Consultation Report - published 23 March 2021
- GOC response to COVID-19 statements consultation - published 28 May 2021
Joint regulatory statements
- Joint regulatory statement on COVID-19
- Joint regulatory statement on remote consultations and prescribing
GOC statements covering internal regulatory processes and provision of CET
- Statement on education during the COVID-19 emergency
- Statement on fitness to practice approach to service documents and hearings during the COVID-19 emergency
- Statement on Continuing Education and Training (CET) providers for CET provision during the COVID-19 emergency
GOC statements covering explanation of legislation/expectations
- Statement on contact lens aftercare during the COVID-19 emergency
- Statement on registrants working in different settings during the COVID-19 emergency (includes statement on redeployment of optometrists and dispensing opticians within pharmacy practice during COVID-19 emergency)
- Statement on infection prevention and control during the COVID-19 emergency
- Statement on use of technology during the COVID-19 emergency
GOC statements covering legislative easements
- Statement on supply of spectacles and contact lenses during the COVID-19 emergency
- Statement on verification of contact lens specifications during the COVID-19 emergency
Previous GOC statements that no longer apply
- Statement on CET during the COVID-19 emergency
- Revised statement on the re-opening of optical practices during the COVID-19 emergency (24 June)
- Statement on the re-opening of optical practices during the COVID-19 emergency (12 June)
- Statement on service of registration notices during COVID-19 emergency
- Previous statements are available in our archive
We have completed an assessment on the risk of contracting COVID-19 associated with working in or visiting our office. The assessment will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.
If you are a registrant, please contact your professional association for further advice:
The College of Optometrists: www.college-optometrists.org
Association of Optometrists: www.aop.org.uk
Association of British Dispensing Opticians: www.abdo.org.uk
Federation of Ophthalmic and Dispensing Opticians: www.fodo.com