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Lockdown 3: are opticians open?

Lockdown 3: are opticians open?
Image Source: Getty Images

Understandably, many people are wondering whether opticians are open during lockdown. Here’s a rundown of what you can expect from your optician while lockdown restrictions are in force.  

Are opticians open during lockdown?

Yes, they’re open during the latest coronavirus lockdown. This time around, eye tests are considered an essential medical service, so you’re okay to travel to an appointment. But can you book a routine eye test or are opticians open for emergencies only? Let’s take a look.  


Opticians remain open for routine and urgent eye care during lockdown. That said, urgent eye exams will always be prioritised over routine appointments, so your optometrist might ask you to delay a routine check. 

  • If you can’t leave home but you need an eye exam, you might be offered a home visit. 
  • You can also ask to speak to the optician over the phone or via video consultation. 


Opticians are open across Scotland

  • You might be offered a telephone call first. 
  • If it’s just a routine eye exam, you may need to wait for an appointment.   
  • Home visits may be offered, depending on patients’ needs.


Opticians are open in Wales, but they might offer you a remote appointment first. 

  • You can request remote delivery of contact lenses and glasses. 
  • Urgent patients will be prioritised for face-to-face appointments.

Northern Ireland

Are opticians open in Northern Ireland? Yes, for the most part

  • You’ll probably need to wait for a routine exam.
  • Emergency patients are the priority for face-to-face care.

Social distancing measures

Got an appointment? Remember to follow these guidelines:

  • Attend your appointment alone, if possible. 
  • Wear a face covering unless you’re exempt. 
  • Don’t arrive too early. It’s easier to socially distance this way.

Don’t visit your optician without an appointment. 

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Are opticians open to new patients right now?

Yes. That said, if it’s just a routine exam, you might be asked to wait. 

  • Worried about your eyesight? Give your local optician a call and see if they have appointments available.
  • If they can’t see you but it’s an eye care emergency, they’ll advise you what to do next.  

Look online to see where’s open to new patients.  

Will they see me if I have Covid-19 symptoms?

Are opticians open to Covid-19 patients? No. Optometrists won’t see you right now if you’re sick or self-isolating. That said, don’t panic – you can still contact them for help. 

  • If it’s non-urgent, they’ll give you self-care advice.
  • On the other hand, if it’s urgent, they’ll help you access eye care. 

What if my glasses break?

Give the optician a call. If it’s a simple repair, they can talk you through what to do. Otherwise, they’ll tell you how to safely hand over your glasses to them. 

Can I get new contact lenses right now?

Sure. Your optician can send them through the post. If they need to see you before they send out more lenses, they’ll tell you what happens next. 


Are opticians open? Yes, but routine care won’t return to normal for some time yet. 

If you have any eye concerns at all, it’s best to call an optician in the first instance. However, if you’re worried, contact 111 instead.

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