COVID-19 and Macular Society support groups

It is very encouraging to see the emergence of plans to bring the countries of the UK out of lockdown. There is the hope now that our local Groups will be able to meet again in person before too long.

The Macular Society’s policy throughout the pandemic has been to follow closely the advice and guidance of our governments and their scientific advisors, and to take a cautious attitude towards any flexibility in that guidance.

The main area where this occurs is where it is technically possible for Groups to meet, within the guidance, provided that strict anti-infection measures are in place. The measures necessary may include managing entrances to and exits from buildings, providing PPE and sanitisers, closely supervising social distancing during meetings, careful management of the serving of refreshments and so on. These measure are onerous and can be costly and we believe that it is not reasonable to expect our Group leaders and volunteers to take responsibility for them.

For this reason, the Society recommends that Macular Society Support Groups should not meet again until all restrictions on indoor socialising are lifted in their specific area. We plan to release another statement mid-May.

We will continue to encourage Groups to maintain contact via video and tele-conferencing. I am very grateful to all the Group leaders, secretaries, treasurers and other volunteers who have worked so hard during the pandemic to keep their Group members in touch. We will do all we possibly can to support you during this time and as our lives begin to return to normal.

Best wishes, Cathy Yelf