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Advice for Optometrists and Opticians - Essential Services Exempted from Suspension
Date issued: 7 April 2020


        We refer to the address made by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and the ministerial task force’s address on 3 April 2020. It was announced that most workplaces be closed except for essential services and key sectors for one month from 7 April 2020.

2      Accordingly, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) has issued further details on the list of Essential Services which are allowed to continue to operate. “Optician services and sale of optical products” is considered one of these Essential Services. Nevertheless, retailers providing Essential Services must still comply with the required measures. You may refer to the notice by MTI as attached and more details on and

Advisory for Practitioners and Optical Practices
3      The Optometrists and Opticians Board strongly advise that practitioners continue to observe personal hygiene at all times and the necessary disinfection measures when performing eye examination and other services such as selection of eye glasses for patients/ customers.

4       In addition, practitioners must evaluate and defer non-urgent or non-essential appointments. Practitioners shall only handle essential and urgent spectacle and contact lens services including:
    a. Collection of spectacles and contact lenses if patients/ customers have already 
        ordered them.
    b. Urgent replacement of spectacles frames or its parts, lenses or contact lenses.
    c. Urgent refraction for the purpose of replacing spectacles.
    d. Contact lens refills provided that the prescriptions are still valid.

5       During this COVID-19 pandemic period, practitioners are strongly advised to serve their patients/ customers’ needs over telephone or video calls as far as possible. When serving patients/customers on site, practitioners shall avoid any physical or close contact with patients/ customers (e.g. request patients/ customers to put on or remove trial frames/contact lens themselves). Any eye examination that requires physical or close contact shall be avoided or deferred to medical practitioners in licensed healthcare institutions. All practitioners must adhere to hand hygiene practices and don appropriate masks when serving patients/customers.

6      Proper and clear record keeping is important during this pandemic period to document your decision and recommendation made for each customer.

Safe distancing for smaller retail establishments      
7       In addition to the advisory on “Safe Distancing Measures for Optical Shops” issued by the Board on 31 March 2020, we would like to supplement with additional advice by Singapore Tourism Board. It mentioned that smaller retail establishments might experience space constraints when implementing safe distancing measures. Hence, the general principle is for retail establishments to regulate the number of shoppers within the store, so that at least one metre spacing between persons could be maintained while retail operations continue normally.

8       For the latest official dates on the COVID-19 situation in Singapore, please visit the Ministry of Health’s website at or You may also wish to consult your professional societies for more specific advice pertaining to your practice during this period.

Let’s continue to do our part to stop the spread of the disease.

Optometrists and Opticians Board  

  Guidance on the Suspension of Business Activities 3 April 2020 [pdf,715KB]