We’ve put all of the latest useful information on Coronavirus and people with sight loss in one place so you can find what you’re looking for quickly.
Government guidelines on Coronavirus…
You can find the latest NHS health advice about Coronavirus (COVID-19) by clicking here
You can find the latest from Welsh Government on Coronavirus by clicking here
Other sources of information on Coronavirus
For frequently asked questions for people with sight loss, their family and friends relating to COVID-19 click here
Wales Council of the Blind have some useful information here
Diabetic Eye Screening
Public Health Wales announced on 1 September that diabetic eye screening restarts this month in clinics across Wales – you can find more information about this here. Public Health Wales is also running a survey about diabetic eye screening that is now available online here. Further information about the restarting of other screening services will be available in the coming weeks.
Eye health during coronavirus
Concerned about your eye health during coronavirus? Whether it’s a regular or follow-up appointment, or emergency advice or treatment, RNIB has put together some helpful advice and guidance on eye health during coronavirus in one handy document. Access it here
Face coverings and sight loss
From Monday 14 September, in Wales, face coverings will be required in all indoor public places. This will apply to both customers and staff working in those indoor public areas. This includes a very wide range of locations, such as shops and shopping centres, places of worship, hairdressers and salons, cinemas and museums, gyms and leisure centres, and anywhere that is open to members of the public. It would also include any public areas within buildings that are otherwise closed to the public – for example a reception area of an office building. The only indoor public areas where face coverings will not be required are where you are inside a place to eat or drink, for example, cafés, restaurants and pubs.
If you have concerns about wearing a face covering, shop around. There are many different styles and types available. People who wear hearing aids may struggle with the ear elastic. You could consider using a version that ties behind the head or you could use an ear saver (a small strip of fabric which has a button at either end for the elastic to loop around instead of your ears). If you find it difficult to breathe, some masks have vents or filters that might be helpful. You might also find it beneficial to buy a mask that is more moulded and therefore sits slightly away from the mouth and nose. It is worth shopping around as there are many options in a wide range of prices. Practice taking one on and off, and wear one around the house first so you are comfortable and familiar with how it feels.
If your disability means that you cannot wear one, you are exempt from the requirement. The Government guidance specifies, in particular, an exemption for someone with a visual impairment whose residual vision would be obscured by a face covering. Exemption cards and badges, which you can print off or put on your phone to show other people that you are exempt along with a full list of exemptions can be found on the GOV.UK face coverings web page. Further guidance for Wales can be found here.
Mindfulness and coronavirus
Many people are struggling with anxiety at the moment. In response to this, Public Health Wales has launched Activate your life, a free online course. This free course is designed to help you improve your mental health and wellbeing. Feeling worried or anxious can have a big impact on your health and for some people life can be particularly difficult, and mindfulness can help to allay feelings of anxiety. To access the course, click here.
Social distancing and sight loss
People with sight loss struggle to social distance. Not everyone has a guide dog or uses a white cane, so not every visual impairment is obvious. The Partially Sighted Society has produced some bright yellow lanyards for people with sight loss to wear when they are out and about to make other people aware that the wearer is visually impaired and is unable to socially distance. We have some on order so call us on 029 2039 8900 if you would like to purchase one for £2.00.
Testing for coronavirus
If you have developed one of the following symptoms, you may have coronavirus:
- a new continuous cough
- a high temperature
- loss of or change to sense of smell or taste
If you develop one of these symptoms follow the self-isolation guidance and book a coronavirus test. The test is only effective for those who are experiencing coronavirus symptoms and needs to be taken in the first five days of having symptoms. It only checks if you have coronavirus right now and not if you have already had the virus. Click here to find out hot to apply for a test.
Information for your area
Cardiff County Council coronavirus information
Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council coronavirus information
Neath Port Talbot Council coronavirus information
Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council coronavirus information
Swansea Council coronavirus information