Specsavers has suspended all routine testing for the ‘foreseeable future’ to focus solely on essential and urgent care.

‘We may be closing our stores for business as usual, but will remain open for care, particularly for key workers, said CEO John Perkins.

‘Our desire is to continue to provide essential and urgent services to the communities we serve, as well as online and telephone advice for those who need it.’

The company said it would only open fully once it was safe to do so and in compliance with government guidelines. It added that joint venture partnerships would make decisions locally in their communities around opening hours, which may be influenced by their own or their team’s personal situation during this crisis.

Patients must phone their local practice first for advice and to be assessed on the level of care that they might need. Key workers will be able to visit practices to seek immediate advice.

As a result of the developing coronavirus situation, Boots Opticians and Hearing care practices around the UK will also temporarily close.

Some stores will remain open to provide essential care for those with essential eye and hearing care needs. A list of these stores is available at www.bootsopticians.com.

In a statement managing director of Boots Opticians, James Arrow, said: ‘We have taken the difficult decision to temporarily close our opticians and hearingcare stores across the UK in order to protect the health and wellbeing of our customers and our team in these challenging times.

‘We are constantly monitoring the situation, working with government guidance and the NHS, and we will open our doors again as soon as we can.’