The government recently announced that driving lessons can resume from 4 July 2020 in England (currently not in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland) after being suspended from the 25 March due to Covid-19. The rule applies to all types of driver and motorcycle training in England; including private practice with someone you live with or in your support bubble.
In a separate announcement, the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) confirmed that, in England, theory tests will resume (with social distancing) from 4 July and driving tests will start from 22 July with safety precautions in place.
Every day in the United Kingdom, nearly 2,000 people turn 17 and during lockdown, 4,500 driving tests have had to be put on hold every day. That’s a lot of driving lessons for driving instructors to catch up on!
New Rules For Driving Lessons
Driving lessons will be quite different. Instructors have taken stringent measures to ensure safety for themselves and their customers.
Driving instructors will follow industry best practice on PPE requirements on every lesson -- wearing face coverings and disposable gloves (to be changed after each lesson).
A driving instructor should thoroughly clean their vehicles before and after each lesson, paying particular attention to touch points, such as door handles, the steering wheel, gear stick and other controls.
Instructors should wear clothes that cover both arms and legs.
Car windows will be kept down throughout the lesson.
Learner drivers will be asked to declare that they are symptom-free. They will also be asked to wash their hands before each lesson as well as wear a face covering.
How Practical Driving Tests Have Changed
Car driving tests will resume in England on Wednesday 22 July, which will give learner drivers time to have refresher lessons and practice before the big day.
The most important point is that currently, you can't book a test, unless you have already had one cancelled (via e-mail) due to the lockdown. If they were meant to be taking their exam in, say, April, they will be given priority over someone who would have taken theirs in June.
Don't come to the test if you feel unwell or are self-isolating. You can cancel and rearrange free of charge.
Candidates need to arrive five minutes before their test. The toilets at the examination centre will be closed (unless you have a medical reason for using them).
Everyone must wear a face covering. If you don't have a mask, your test will be cancelled.
The examiner and candidate will use hand gel before setting off. The examiner will wear a mask and possibly disposable gloves, and the car may include disposable seat covers.
The idea of the driving exam is to spend minimal time in the car. At the end of the test, the examiner will tell you outside if you have passed or failed. Driving instructors are allowed to be at the centre, and can listen to the feedback, but from a distance.
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