With the UK under lockdown, the DVSA have taken the decision to suspend theory and practical tests. However, an exception exists to this rule. Certain frontline key workers may be eligible to take an emergency test. In this article, we will explain who may qualify, and how to book these tests.
Who counts as a key worker?
The government has identified those whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response, or who work in critical sectors for the economy, as key workers. We have listed these sectors below, together with examples of jobs identified as critical.
- Health and social care
Key workers include: doctors, nurses and other frontline staff (including volunteers); support and specialist staff; those working in the health and social care supply chain
- Education and childcare
Key workers include: childcare, support and teaching staff; specialist educational professionals
- Key public services
Key workers include: essential workers in the justice system; religious staff; charities and workers delivering frontline services; journalists and public service broadcasters
- Local and national government
Key workers include: administrative occupations essential to the COVID-19 response; those delivering essential public services
- Food and other necessary goods
Key workers include: those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery; those essential to the provision of other key goods
- Public safety and national security
Key workers include: police and support staff; MoD civilians, contractors and armed forces personnel; fire and rescue service employees
Key workers include: workers in air, water, road and rail passenger transport; workers in freight transport
- Utilities, communication and financial services
Key workers include: staff needed for essential financial services; workers in the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors; IT and data infrastructure
For full details on who counts as a key worker, visit GOV.UK.
What are the rules regarding driving tests for key workers?
Not all key workers are able to take emergency tests. During the current lockdown, only frontline mobile emergency workers are eligible. You must be employed by either a local council, NHS Trust, or emergency service, and your job must involve both driving and responding to threats to life.
If you are eligible, your employer will be able to apply on your behalf. The DVSA has shared application information with relevant bodies; if your employer has not yet received this, contact the DVSA.
For full details, read our article on emergency testing during the 2021 lockdown.
What measures are being taken to ensure that emergency tests are safe?
The DVSA have put in place a number of procedures to minimise the spread of coronavirus. This includes:
- Ensuring that examiners wear clothing that fully covers their arms and legs
- Requiring examiners to wash their hands before entering the public waiting area, wear gloves for the duration of the test, and avoid touching their face
- Banning examiners from shaking the candidate’s hand
- Preventing candidates from touching the examiner’s iPad, stylus, or any paperwork used
- Checking the candidate’s signature and driving licence without the examiner physically handling it
- Not allowing any accompanying driver or ADI to sit in on the test, or to listen to the debrief at the end
- Stopping tests from going ahead if a candidate is unwell, or terminating the test partway through if the candidate becomes unwell during the drive
- Keeping vehicles well ventilated, including by asking the candidate to open their window
- Building in extra time for each test to ensure that examiners are able to carry out all the additional precautions
- Putting in place specific measures for the disposal of any Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as gloves and wipes
The driving test itself will be carried out as normal, including general and independent driving sections, reversing manoeuvres, “show me, tell me” questions and an eyesight check. However, tests will end early if a candidate fails.
Does PassMeFast offer courses and tests for key workers?
PassMeFast will continue to offer driving courses for eligible key workers. Please note that you must have a test booked in order to take lessons with us.
If you’re interested in booking any of our driving courses, simply get in touch with us by phone on 0333 123 4949. A member of our team will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and help you choose the best option for you.