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Advice for Optometrists and Opticians, March 2020
Date issued: 31 March 2020


Following MOH’s announcement on “Tighter Measures to Minimise Further Spread of COVID-19” (24 March 2020), more extensive social distancing strategies have been implemented to minimise local spread of COVID-19. In particular, all retail service operators are required to comply with the following measures: 

a.       Reduce operating capacity within the venue at any one time, so that the venue does not have more than one person per 16 square metres of usable space. This is to significantly reduce the density of crowds in these venues, especially during peak periods.

b.       Groups must not exceed 10 persons. Shows within attractions (indoor and outdoor), group tours at museums, and open atrium sales events are to be suspended.

c.       Disperse congregations and provide an environment that allows at least one metre physical spacing between patrons. These include queues and waiting areas. Operators are encouraged to offer services by appointment or through digital services where possible, to minimise queues. Crowds should be quickly dispersed. 

2              These measures have taken effect from 26 March 2020, and will be in place until 30 April 2020 or later, depending on the evolving COVID situation. In addition, MOH has mandated that any person who is given sick leave must stay at home for the whole duration of the sick leave.

Advisory for Optical Practices

3              In line with the abovementioned measures, the Optometrists and Opticians Board would like to draw your attention to measures that are relevant to optical practices such as optical shops. Every optical shop should have sufficient space to accommodate at least 16 square metres of usable space per person. Practitioners in the shop would need to make adjustments to minimize the number of staff and customers allowed in the shop premises at any one time. (e.g. see customers by appointment, sell spectacles online, etc.).

4              All practitioners working in optical shops are expected to observe strict personal hygiene and infection control when attending to customers (e.g. cleaning hands with hand sanitizers before and after attending to each customer, wearing appropriate masks when in close contact with customers, etc.). 

5              Practitioners working in non-retail establishments (e.g. clinics, hospitals, research centres, lens companies) are to follow relevant measures as directed by MOH and the management of their respective establishments. Practitioners are at liberty to take more stringent measures according to the unique circumstances of their working environment. 

6              Practitioners who have acute respiratory symptoms and been issued a five-day sick leave must remain at home for the whole duration of the sick leave. They are not allowed to work at any premises.  If you are aware of any such ill practitioner who breaches this regulation, you must alert MOH immediately.

7              We understand that the abovementioned measures may be disruptive to your work and require significant effort to undertake. Nevertheless, let us do our part to protect ourselves and our community as we brave through these challenging times.

8              For the latest official updates 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.

Take care and stay well. 

Optometrists and Opticians Board