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The Government, or the Department of the Taoiseach, have changed the advice on their level 5 living with Covid plan – Optometrists are now classified as essential workers. The department of Health is therefore changing its guidelines, meaning we are allowed to re-open.
Many opticians were remaining open anyway, on the basis that they supplied medical devices, which spectacles and contact lenses are- there is an exemption on that, but it was also stated later in the advice that Optician and Optometrists should only see people on an emergency basis. Those who planned to remain open may not have been breaking the law, but were perhaps not adhering to the spirit of the plan?
The Association of Optometrists has now received confirmation from the Department of the Taoiseach of these changes.
Because we are closed on the Saturday before a Bank Holiday Monday anyway, and this is now Thursday and the staff are thus far unaware of this development- we will reopen on Tuesday 27th. None of the staff here were pleased to be closed for 6 weeks, but I see that one of them already started their home remodeling plan last night – I’m sure a back to work on Tuesday will be a bit of a shock!
Apologies for the confusion on this one – we were only following the advice of our professional body.
As per the government’s new countrywide Covid policy on Level 5, we are being forced to close for the next six weeks, at least.
Optometrists may remain open “insofar as they see people on an emergency basis only”. What constitutes an emergency is not defined at this point, it is unlikely to be clarified in the near future either.
So we will be closing on Wednesday evening for the 6 weeks. There is no point in us sitting here just in case an emergency calls.
We have tried to contact everyone to advise them of this development – but there are a couple of folks we are unable to contact, despite repeated attempts. Apologies if you are one of those people – we did try!
In an emergency, Please call Ian on this mobile number – apologies it is a UK number. Coverage in my home area is poor so please leave a message and I will call back as soon as I can. Ian’s mobile number is +44 797 8378930.
We will endeavour to get spectacles on order manufactured and delivered as soon as possible.
As usual, because it is a bank holiday weekend we will not be opening the Saturday – May 30th.
We need time to recover from our busy 2 weeks – this working thing is tiring compared to being locked down!
Hope you all have a great weekend, and enjoy the weather.
Back open 11am on Tuesday.
We are pleased to advise that we will be reopening on Monday 18th, but unfortunately be aware that it will not (cannot) be business as usual.
Due to safety requirements we will have to impose the following “rules”.
To ensure social distancing we will only be able to accomodate one client at a time. For this reason we will be running with the door closed and are asking that all wishing to visit PLEASE CALL US IN ADVANCE. We will have a door bell, but for your convenience, please call us to arrange a time to come in – it may just be a case of suggesting you postpone for 5 or 10 minutes.
Please come alone, unless you require a carer to accompany you. If the person with you is only a “driver”, they should not attend.
Unfortunately it is not possible to perform a routine eye test at a social distance, so the Association of Optometrists is recommending that all routine tests be postponed at this time. In cases of sight loss, pain or other issues we will happily see you, but it will not be a full normal test for the moment.
If you need new spectacles, we will do what we need to arrange that, and schedule the remainder of the eye test at a later date.
Contact Lens checks should be a legal requirement before we can issue repeat contact lens prescriptions, but again under these unprecedented circumstances these have been allowed to be postponed, assuming there are no issues.
All visitors should be COVID symptom free and not aware of having been exposed to anyone who may be infected, but we all know that! Anyone who wishes to be examined should bring a mask with them to wear in the test room. We have masks and other PPE on order, but predictably they are well beyond their expected delivery date. They also cost a significant amount of money, so we are not able to give them away – we suggest you bring your own. We will call you before your appointment to check your health and also do the normal “history and symptoms” which would is usually done at the start of the test.
Every visitor will need to give us their details – name, address and a contact telephone number, so that we can record this for tracing purposes, should it be necessary. This even applies if you are only droping in a relative’s frame to have screw inserted, or collecting something on behalf of someone else.
These “rules” are subject to change at any time – no-one has dealt with a situation like this before, but between us we will get through this.
For the foreseeable, I do not think that there is too much point in us being open normal hours – there just will not be the demand for testing, or perhaps not the ability!
We are going to go with Tuesday to Saturday 11am to 4pm.
We will have an answering service for the rest of normal business hours – leave us a message and we will get back to you.
So the government has closed all non essential businesses for a while….
It is hard to consider Optometrists as much more than retail establishments in a dire situation such as the one we are living. Eye exams are important, but often could wait a week or a month or two?
Once or twice a week though we get someone calling in, with complaints of recent onset flashes or floaters, or other possibly sight threatening symptoms.
We always try to see these people as soon as possible, often lunch is taken up by seeing these folks, who almost always require a dilated exam.
Until last night’s new directives, we had planned to open on a limited basis from Monday, but Optometrists are now not classed as essential services, so we must remain closed for at least the next fortnight.
If you have an eye emergency, the Association of Optometrists have advised their members that we should not see you- any people with clinical problems should go to their local eye department.
If you have an issue with your glasses, I will do my best to help out. Call Ian on 083 808 0371, but remember that I have poor coverage where I live and the phone may not ring. If you leave me a message, I can call back and try to get something sorted out.