Updated 17 March: We’ll update this page in line with new guidance as soon as possible.
With the increasing spread of the coronavirus, many people are understandably worried about whether they should go to their eye clinic appointments. This is the advice we have at the moment. This advice might change so do keep checking back on this site for updates.
If you have symptoms of the coronavirus:
You should stay at home. This means that, as long as your symptoms are mild, you should not visit your GP, pharmacy or local hospital. This includes the eye clinic. If you begin to feel very unwell please contact the NHS by telephone and you will be given further advice. If you feel you are experiencing an eye emergency please phone your eye clinic.
If you have no symptoms of the coronavirus:
If you do not have any reason to suspect you may have coronavirus, and have not been in contact with anyone who may be affected, then it is important that you continue to attend your appointments as usual, unless told otherwise by your local eye clinic. Visits to appointments such as injections should be considered essential.
Hospitals will be doing what they can to limit infection, so you should not have any concerns about attending your appointments. It is our understanding that, as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, many clinics are also quieter than usual.
The Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth) has advised eye clinics to work closely with the hospital infection control teams to ensure patients displaying symptoms do not attend appointments and put anyone else at unnecessary risk.
When you arrive at the clinic, staff may ask you if you are displaying any of the following symptoms; fever, the sudden onset of a persistent cough, hoarseness, runny nose or congestion, shortness of breath, sore throat, wheezing, sneezing or muscle pains. They may also ask if you have had contact with anyone who you know has or may have been infected with coronavirus, or if you have travelled to any of the at risk areas. If so you may be put into a dedicated isolation room or sent home.
Keeping safe at the hospital
When visiting the hospital you should continue to use good hand hygiene and use the sanitisers provided as soon as you arrive at the hospital and before leaving.
For more information about the coronavirus, including what symptoms to look out for, please visit the NHS website.
Don’t forget - you can call 0300 3030 111 Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm to access all our other services.