Routine sight testing in the UK

Statement from the OFNC, Optometry Northern Ireland, Optometry Scotland and Optometry Wales

Opticians across the UK are essential services and continue to operate in accordance with College of Optometrists and local NHS guidance, as they have throughout the pandemic. The current clinical advice on the delivery of essential, urgent and emergency eye care remains in place, as confirmed in a joint statement by the College of Optometrists and ABDO on 11 May. Routine sight testing currently remains suspended across the UK. 

The UK Government has now confirmed that sectors of the economy that are allowed to open in England should be open and should continue to operate based on current national guidance and sector specific advice. 

The Welsh Government have issued a letter from the Chief Optometric Adviser reiterating the advice to the public in Wales outlining the current situation, which is that for the next three weeks until further review, Wales remains in a state of lockdown until further notice.

The Northern Ireland Assembly has published a five-stage plan to ease Northern Ireland out of lockdown. The roadmap to loosening coronavirus restrictions does not include target dates. The situation in Northern Ireland remains unchanged and will be reviewed in three weeks.

The OFNC, Optometry Northern Ireland, Optometry Scotland and Optometry Wales are working closely with governments and the NHS and will provide more information on the next steps as soon as we can.

OFNC, Optometry Northern Ireland, Optometry Scotland and Optometry Wales  

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Optometry Northern Ireland logo

Optometry Scotland logo




For media enquiries, please contact Serena Box, PR and Media Manager, at the Association of Optometrists, [email protected] or telephone 020 7549 2040.

Notes to editors 


The Optical Fees Negotiating Committee (OFNC) is the national negotiating body for eye care in the UK and England with the Westminster Parliament, the Department of Health and Social Care, and NHS England-NHS Improvement. It comprises the leaders of the UK representative bodies: ABDO, AOP, FODO and BMA (for OMPs) and works in partnerships with the College of Optometrists and the General Optical Council.