Optical practices are exempt from mandatory face covering measures that came into force today (July 24) as the government attempts to curb the spread of Covid-19.

The government highlighted that there is evidence to suggest that face coverings could reduce the likelihood of someone with the infection passing it on to others, particularly if they are asymptomatic.

Anyone who does not abide by the regulations, or is not exempt, could face a £100 fine that is enforced by the police.

Opticians are listed alongside dental practices, hairdressers, pubs and restaurants as exempt from the regulations.

Among the exemptions for members of the public listed by the government is anyone under the age of 11 and those living with disabilities or certain health conditions that make it difficult to wear a face covering.

This includes those living with a visual impairment, with a restricted field of vision, particularly if any residual vision is at the lower edge of the normal field of view.

The College of Optometrists has also issued guidance in response to the exemption, which can be read here.