Optical practices not affected by lockdown restrictions in northern England

Renewed restrictions were announced on Thursday for areas in West Yorkshire, East Lancashire and Greater Manchester

LM Manchester
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The AOP has reassured members that optical practices in the north of England are unaffected by the renewed lockdown instructions and can carry on providing routine care to their patients.

Extra lockdown measures were announced for local areas across West Yorkshire, East Lancashire and Greater Manchester last night (Thursday 30 July.)

The new lockdown restrictions mean that people living in the affected areas can no longer visit the homes or gardens of others outside their ‘support bubble.’

The restrictions also ban residents from socialising with people that they do not live with in indoor venues including pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops, places of worship, community centres, leisure and entertainment venues, and visitor attractions.

Violation of the rules could see people faced with fixed penalty notices that start at £100.

There has been no date set for when the rules will again be eased.

Peter Hampson, clinical director at the AOP, has emphasised that optometrists in the affected areas in Yorkshire, Lancashire and Greater Manchester should continue with their normal practice. He said: “Our members in these areas should feel confident that they can proceed with their routine appointments unless further advice from the government suggests otherwise.

“Optometrists should of course continue to ensure the use of PPE and observe social distancing rules where necessary.”

The renewed restrictions apply in the following areas:

East Lancashire: Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle and Rossendale

Greater Manchester: City of Manchester, Trafford, Stockport, Oldham, Bury, Wigan, Bolton, Tameside, Rochdale and Salford

West Yorkshire: Bradford, Calderdale and Kirklees

At the moment there is no suggestion that further lockdown restrictions, such as those currently in place in Leicester, will also be implemented in the above areas. In Leicester, optometrists are currently restricted to providing urgent and emergency care only.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has also announced that a review of the England-wide lockdown restrictions will be postponed for a further two weeks. Restrictions were previously set to be reviewed on 1 August.