Covid-19 testing extended to essential workers

Eyecare practitioners may now apply for Covid-19 testing after the government expanded eligibility to include all essential workers.

The tests are for those who have coronavirus-like symptoms to see if they currently have the virus, as part of the government’s five-pillar strategy for covonavirus testing. In England, NHS workers and patients without symptoms may also be tested.

Government advice is to get tested within the first three days of coronavirus symptoms appearing, although testing is considered effective until day five.

“This is welcome news for our members continuing to work in practice,” said ABDO head of policy and public affairs, Debbie McGill. “Going forwards, it may be an option for optical practices to be used to perform Covid-19 testing throughout the UK on asymptomatic patients attending for eyecare.

“We will update members if, and when, this scheme becomes available. In the meantime, I would urge all members to visit the relevant testing link for their country of residence, as the criteria varies between them.”

Testing criteria by country

Northern Ireland