Statement on Tier 4 restrictions in areas of England from 20 December 2020

Following the Government’s announcement on 19 December 2020, new local restrictions came into effect on 20 December in some areas of England.

The Government has introduced a fourth tier for areas of London, South East and East of England, which were previously in Tier 3. We encourage registrants to read Government guidance on the local tier restrictions.

It is our understanding that optical practices will be able to remain open in the affected areas of England, as they would fall under the exemption of delivering medical services.

The College of Optometrists is advising, as confirmed by NHS England, that practices should continue to follow their amber guidance during this period – prioritising urgent and essential cases and only seeing routine patients where there is capacity. Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO) has also confirmed that practices should continue to deliver eye health care with clinical judgement during this time.

Our COVID-19 statements still remain in effect to support delivery of care and further advice can also be sought from the professional associations:

We will continue to monitor the guidance from Government and the impact on services in conjunction with the optical sector and will release new statements and update our guidance as we receive new information.