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EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level policy measures

Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure ES-2017-20/1494 – measures in Spain

Alain Afflelou: Technological innovation to prevent the spread of COVID-19

Alain Afflelou: innovación tecnológica para prevenir el contagio de la COVID-19

Country Spain , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 19 May 2017
Context COVID-19
Type Company practices
Category Protection of workers, adaptation of workplace
– Occupational health and safety
Author Alejandro Godino (UAB)
Measure added 27 November 2020 (updated 12 February 2021)

Background information

Alain Afflelou, the optical and audiology chain of stores, created a special reopening protocol with protective measures designed to avoid contact and thus reduce the possible risk of contagion from COVID-19. These measures stand out above all for technological innovation and digitization to emulate the customer experience remotely, but also health and safety new protocols.

Content of measure

The company has started to offer to customers a virtual glasses tester based on 3D technology to limit contact with the frames and reduce the potential risks of contagion. Another of the special measures is the digitization of certain processes to reduce the time of permanence of clients in the optician and to convert the points of sale into points of service as much as possible to adapt the activity of the company to the new situation. Likewise, after each appointment, all the materials used are disinfected following a specific protocol (for example, in the case of testing frames). The spaces, especially the graduation and audiology cabinets, have regular and thorough cleaning. In addition, the hours from 11:00 to 12:00 are reserved for people over 65 years old.

Use of measure

The 325 optician points of sale and the 50 audiology centres of the company have implemented the protocols and new services described. Furthermore, during the period of confinement, Alain Afflelou employees received specific training to improve professional skills needed in the new context (more than 5,000 hours of training). Moreover, in the face of the reopening after the confinement, employees were trained more on safety and protection protocols.


  • Health and safety
  • Other topics

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Does not apply to businesses Applies to all citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Company / Companies

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement Consulted
Form Not applicable Direct consultation outside a formal body

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Company level


AEO (largest EO in the sector, of which Alain Afflelou is a member) companies joined in May to guarantee safety protocols in their visits to opticians, committing to comply with the sectorial safety and hygiene recommendations of their plan "Volvemos" (We return).

Views and reactions

AEO highlighted that the digitization of frame collections is one of the important measures to prevent the contagion in the sector.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      G - Wholesale And Retail Trade; Repair Of Motor Vehicles And Motorcycles G47 Retail trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles

This case is not occupation-specific.


  • 27 May 2020: Alain Afflelou apuesta por la tecnología para ayudar a prevenir el contagio por la covid-19 (
  • 04 June 2020: Alain Afflelou mantiene su plan de aperturas en España y anticipa una “normalización” en 2021 (
  • 08 June 2020: El sector óptico comienza a recuperar la normalidad con unos estrictos protocolos de seguridad y limpieza (


Eurofound (2020), Alain Afflelou: Technological innovation to prevent the spread of COVID-19, measure ES-2017-20/1494 (measures in Spain), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.