Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

FAO: All Optometry Colleagues

Below is the latest information RE: Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Last Updated: 1st July 2020 (14:49)


** Latest CMO Letters **

  • HSS(MD) 47-2020 - 16.06.20 - Dexamethasone in COVID-19 is available HERE and letter from the UK CMO's and Medical Director of NHS England is available HERE
  • HSS(MD) 45-2020 - 13.06.20 - Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), as an Aerosol Generating Procedure (AGP) is available HERE
  • HSS(MD) 38-2020 - Covid-19 Contact Tracing Strategy & Programme in Northern Ireland - "Test, Trace and Protect" is available HERE
  • NEW CAS Alert - 15 May CW is available HERE
  • HSS(MD) 35-2020 - Covid 10 Case Definition Change is available HERE
  • HSS(MD) 32-2020 - 05.05.20 - Yellow Card Reporting Site for Healthcare Products Used in Coronavirus (COVID-19) is available HERE
  • Letter from Dr Michael McBride - letter from the 4 UK CMOs and Medical Directors of PHE and NHS England- 04.05.20 is available HERE and UK CMOs PHE, NHS and MD letter to staff - 01.05.20 is available HERE
  • HSS(MD) 26-2020 - 19.04.20 - COVID-19 PPE Guidance Update is available HERE
  • HSS(MD) 23-2020 - 15.04.20 - Ibuprofen and Coronavirus Guidance is available HERE
  • HSS(MD) 20-2020 - 03.04.20 - Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Guidance Update is available HERE
  • HSS(MD) 19-2020 - 28.03.20 - Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) - Update to Service is available HERE
  • HSS(MD) 17-2020 - 27.03.20 - COVID-19 Chloroquine & Hydroxychloroquine not licensed for COVID-19 Treatment is available HERE
  • HSS(MD) 14-2020 - 13.03.20 - Novel Coronavirus: Advice for HSC in Northern Ireland is available HERE 


** Useful Links for Optometrists (should be reviewed regularly) **

  • Public Health Agency (PHA) - LINK
  • UK Government Response - LINK
  • PHE Guidance to health professionals - LINK
  • PHE guidance for primary care LINK


  1. Optometry COVID-19 Bulletin No.1 is available HERE.
  2. Optometry COVID-19 Bulletin No.2 is available HERE.
  3. Optometry COVID-19 Bulletin No.3 is available HERE.
  4. Optometry COVID-19 Bulletin No.4 is available HERE.
  5. Optometry COVID-19 Bulletin No.5 is available HERE.
  6. Optometry COVID-19 Bulletin No.6 is available HERE.
  7. Optometry COVID-19 Bulletin No.7 is available HERE.
  8. Optometry COVID-19 Bulletin No.8 is available HERE

HSCB Webinars

HSCB Video training for managing emergencies during Covid pdf is available HERE.

HSCB Ophthalmic Services Zoom Meeting feedback June 2020 is available HERE

Urgent Eye Care Provision Arrangements

  1. COVID-19 Urgent Care Guidance (23.04.20) is available HERE
  2. Urgent Eyecare Service - Important Update on Claim Process HERE

NIPEARS had been replaced by the Urgent Care service during COVID-19 and these claims should be submitted using the Urgent Care eForm. (valid for claims carried out from 1st May 2020 and prior to 29th June 2020)

For NI PEARS carried out from 29th June 2020 please see MOS 333 (here) 

The eform that can be used for assessments carried out from this date can be found here. This should be used for NI PEARS claims that cannot be claimed via OCS

Press Release

  1. RNIB Press Release on Diabetic Retinal Screening (28.04.20) is available HERE.

Key Information

  1. COVID-19 Optometry Business Continuity Plan (March 2020) is available HERE
  2. COVID-19 Lines to take for Helpline operatives (Version 7.4) (13.03.20) is available HERE
  3. Letter from Department of Health available HERE
  4. A Pathway flow-chart is available HERE
  5. An Advice Poster is available HERE
  6. Click HERE for advice and information resources from PHA (Public Health Agency).
  7. Click HERE for a Map of specified areas affected.
  8. Click HERE for a Map of the specified areas in Italy affected.
  9. Click HERE to access the College of Optometrists guidance for all home nations.
  10. Advice for Clinical Staff and Health Care Workers regarding COVID-19 is available HERE
  11. HSS(MD) 15/2020 - Novel Coronavirus - Anti-inflammatory medications is available HERE
  12. Urgent Communication (20.03.20) - COVID-19: Advice for Ophthalmic Contractors is available HERE
  13. COVID19 Optometry Contractors_Patient Signature Guidance (20.03.20) is available HERE
  14. HSCB Advice for Ophthalmic Contractors - Ophthalmic Service Suspension (24.03.20) is available HERE
  15. Letter to Ophthalmic Contractors RE: HSC Complaints during COVID-19 is available HERE
  16. HSCB Letter to GP Practices RE: Essential and Urgent Primary Eye Care (31.03.20) is available HERE
  17. HSCB Letter to Community Pharmacies RE: Essential and Urgent Primary Eyecare (02.04.20) is available HERE
  18. Optometrist Key worker confirmation is available HERE
  19. Optometry Services (Urgent Care Activity Record) April 2020 is available HERE
  20. HSS COVID-19 PPE Guidance is available HERE
  21. Recommended PPE Poster - Primary Outpatient & Community Care Settings is available HERE
  22. Financial Support For Ophthalmic Contractors - (25.03.20) is available HERE
  23. Covid19 Strategic Direction GOS - (07.04.20) is available HERE
  24. HSS(MD) 26/2020 - COVID-19 PPE Guidance Update (19.04.20) is available HERE
  25. Template for FSS Assurance Monitoring - Ophthalmic Contractors (01.05.20) is available HERE
    • FAQ's to assist in the completion of the the weekly (FSS) Survey Monkey monitoring return (01.05.20) are available HERE
  26. Letter from HSCB - Interim Protocol for testing for COVID19 for Optometry Professionals (28.04.20) is available HERE
  27. HSCB - Infection prevention & control recap (01.05.20) is available HERE
  28. HSCB - Frequently asked questions on wearing PPE V1 (01.05.20) is available HERE
  29. Acute Eyecare Pathway Important Update - Eye Casualty Changes (29.05.20) is available HERE
  30. NIA-2020-02 Risks associated with alcohol based hand sanitisers (29.05.20) is available HERE
  31. KMC Covid-19 - Information Sources Compendium (30.06.20) is available HERE
  32. Re-establishment of Primary Care Ophthalmic Services - Operational Guidance (17.06.20) is available HERE
  33. PPE Supply List is available HERE  (Note: MS Excel format)
  34. Letter from HSCB - RE: Phase 1 Rebuilding of HSC Primary Eyecare Services (17.06.20) is available HERE