It’s the news we’ve all been waiting for: driving lessons are coming back! The government has today announced that lessons in England will be able to go ahead as of July 4th. We’ll take a look at what the announcement means for learners and instructors alike, and let you know when you can get back on the road.
Driving lessons restarting: what we know so far
Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg, responding to a question in the House, confirmed earlier today that driving lessons will be able to restart from July 4th. The move comes as part of a wider easing of lockdown restrictions, which also allows for the reopening of bars, restaurants and cinemas. Rees-Mogg said:
Driving instructors are one of the unseen engines of the country. They train generations of future drivers and I hope they can resume their important work safely as soon as possible.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency’s Chief Executive will be writing to all Approved Driving Instructors on the 25th of June setting out plans to restart driver testing and to help them return to life that is as close to normal as possible, as quickly and as fairly as possible, in a way that avoids a second peak of infections.
From the 4th of July, I am happy to say that people will be able to take driving lessons on a motorcycle, or in a car, lorry or bus, and there will be a phased approach to resuming practical testing so learners have the opportunity to practise before taking a test.
Who will be able to start taking lessons?
For the first time since March 20th, members of the general public will be able to take driving lessons—though some key workers have been able to take lessons and emergency tests during that time.
At present, the rule change will only apply to driving lessons in England. Learner drivers in the other nations of the UK will need to wait for announcements from devolved governments before they are able to start taking lessons once more.
Will driving lessons change as a result of coronavirus?
As it is not possible to comply with social distancing regulations during a driving lesson, extra precautions must be taken to help reduce the risk of infection. Though each driving instructor is likely to adopt a slightly different approach, we are encouraging all of our ADIs to:
- Wipe down all points of contact in the car before each lesson
- Confirm with each student before every lesson that neither they, nor anyone in their household, nor anyone with whom they have come into contact is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19
- Ask all students to wash their hands before entering the vehicle, and to cover their mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
- Keep windows open during lessons to ensure that the car is well ventilated
- Wear PPE (e.g. face coverings and disposable gloves) during lessons, and clothing that covers the arms and legs
Further information was provided by the DVSA in a conversation with NASP this month.
Meanwhile, we are urging all students to:
- Wash their hands thoroughly before every lesson
- Wear a face mask and gloves in the car
- Comply with any precautionary measures requested by their instructor
When will driving tests restart?
Practical testing is set to restart as of Wednesday, 22nd July, with the government announcing that they are taking a ‘phased approach’ to the resumption of testing.
Here at PassMeFast, we’re keeping a close eye on any announcements regarding practical tests, and are working to ensure that our students can get behind the wheel as safely and quickly as possible. We’ll be providing further updates as we get them, so watch this space!