Are opticians open during lockdown 3?

Are opticians open during lockdown 3?

01/05/2021

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Opticians offer an essential medical service in society. It is estimated during their life, around 4.5 percent of the British population will suffer from some type of vision loss. With the NHS under increasing pressure amid the coronavirus pandemic – are opticians still open during the third national lockdown in England?

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will address the nation at 5pm today (Tuesday, January 5), less than 24 hours after implementing the third national lockdown in England.

People in England were told to stay at home, except for a limited set of exceptions.

These exceptions include:

  • Shopping for essentials, for you or a vulnerable person
  • Going to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
  • Exercising with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.
  • Meeting your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
  • Seeking medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
  • Attending education or childcare – for those eligible.
  • Attending communal religious worship.
  • Undertaking activities related to moving house.

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Mr Johnson implemented the lockdown in a bid to tackle the rising rates of coronavirus.

He attributed the increase in cases to the highly transmissible Covid variant.

The PM said: “I want to say to everyone right across the United Kingdom that I know how tough this is, I know how frustrated you are, I know that you have had more than enough of Government guidance about defeating this virus. But now more than ever, we must pull together.”

The PM added: “The weeks ahead will be the hardest yet but I really do believe that we are entering the last phase of the struggle.

“Because with every jab that goes into our arms, we are tilting the odds against Covid and in favour of the British people.

“And, thanks to the miracle of science, not only is the end in sight and we know exactly how we will get there.

“But for now, I am afraid, you must once again stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.”

Are opticians open during the third national lockdown?

Opticians are permitted to remain open.

During the full lockdown stage of the coronavirus pandemic, all routine primary care is suspended.

This means the following optician services can be provided:

  • Face to face essential, urgent or emergency eye care, and essential contact lens practice only, dependant on local or national protocols
  • Domiciliary care as per local protocols
  • Emergency and urgent referrals only
  • All other services provided remotely.

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There are several other medical-related businesses which are permitted to remain open.

These businesses include medical services, dental services, audiology services, chiropody, chiropractors, osteopaths and other medical or health services.

Pharmacies and chemists can also remain open.

Animal rescue centres, veterinary surgeons and boarding facilities can also stay open to the public.

Aside from these medical and healthcare businesses, other businesses and venues selling essential goods for sale or hire can remain open.

How opticians can remain Covid-secure?

Optometrists and staff should:

  • Wear PPE if seeing patients face-to-face.
  • Use alternatives to aerosol-generating procedures.
  • Adapt their typical routines to reduce close contact with patients
  • Streamline consultations to ensure only clinically necessary tests are undertaken.
  • Make records clear about what adjustments to normal routines have been made.
  • Ensure social distancing is observed
  • Ask patients to wear face masks where possible
  • Ask patients to attend the practice alone where possible.
  • Operate by an appointment-only system.

Appointments at the opticians may work differently in the future.

You will likely be called ahead of the day of your appointment to confirm if you or anyone in your household has developed symptoms of coronavirus.

You will not be permitted to visit the optician if that is the case.

You may be asked questions over the phone in order to minimise face-to-face time.

Opticians may also seek to encourage contactless payment methods to avoid unnecessary contact.

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