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20 August 2021

Optical sector updates Covid guidance for domiciliary providers and publishes key messages about lateral flow testing for care homes

The Domiciliary Eyecare Committee (DEC) has today updated its Covid-19 guidance to reflect the government's decision that all staff working in care homes in England, including visiting professionals such as optometrists and dispensing opticians, must be double vaccinated against Covid-19 from 11 November 2021 (unless they are exempt under the regulations). [1]

The DEC wishes to highlight that professional staff will need to have their first jab by 16 September 2021 in order to meet this deadline if they are not vaccinated already.

The DEC has also agreed key messages about lateral flow testing with NHS England and care sector organisations, which will be cascaded to care homes including via the CQC fortnightly bulletin.  

DEC Co-Chairs Dawn Roberts and Gordon Ilett said: "This is a challenging time for everyone as we try to meet the needs of domiciliary patients whilst keeping them, care home residents and staff, and our own staff, safe. Vision and eye health are so important, especially for vulnerable people who cannot leave home, but we cannot deliver this essential care without the active support of our care home colleagues. The positive response of our partners in the care sector in helping us get this message out has been very impressive and very welcome."           

Domiciliary Eyecare Committee

20 August 2021



Note for editors

The Primary Eye Care Sector's Domiciliary Eyecare Committee (DEC), established in 2004, is an open forum bringing together representatives from domiciliary service providers, the optical bodies (ABDO, AOP, FODO, Optometry Scotland, Optometry Wales, Optometry Northern Ireland and the College of Optometrists) and the NHS. It is committed to promoting the highest standards of eyecare for domiciliary patients and is active in lobbying for equal access to services for people unable to leave home unaided. The DEC encourages all providers of domiciliary services to follow its Code of Practice and guidance.  

This updates the Committee's previous guidance issued on 30 July and reflects the changes in vaccination requirements for staff working in care homes in England.


Vaccination of people working or deployed in care homes: operational guidance - GOV.UK (



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