Coronavirus (COVID-19) latest information

Last updated: 22 July 2021 

Here you will find the latest updates and links to Government and GOC guidance related to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) emergency.

UK Government guidance

GOC Guidance

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions to the public and registrants is available on our COVID-19 FAQ page.

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.








Northern Ireland


GOC guidance

In these extraordinary times, 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. This means that our registrants may have to vary their practice for extended periods of time and in challenging circumstances. While registrants are encouraged to work up to the limits of their competence, refresher training and/or supervision may be needed.

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 emergency situation. 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.

We carried out a public consultation on our COVID-19 statements between October 2020 and January 2021. The consultation analysis is published in the list below. On 28 May 2021 we updated some of our statements and published our response to the consultation – these documents are all provided below. Previous versions of the statements are available in our archive

COVID-19 statements consultation 

Joint regulatory statements

GOC statements covering internal regulatory processes and provision of CET

GOC statements covering explanation of legislation/expectations

GOC statements covering legislative easements

Previous GOC statements that no longer apply

Risk assessment

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: