With the UK on pause during lockdown and shops, offices and businesses closed to combat the spread of coronavirus, everyday activities like taking a driving or theory test were suspended. Now as the Government begins to restart the economy and allow some businesses to reopen, learner drivers will be glad to hear driving tests can restart.
Speaking at Business Questions in the Commons, Mr Rees-Mogg said: “From the 4 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 practice before taking a test.”
He added the industry should return “in a way that avoids a second peak in infections”.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps later added: “Driving lessons and tests are vital in helping people get to work and visit loved ones, and provide the skills for a lifetime of safe driving.
“As the country recovers from COVID-19, we can now open up our services to help get the country moving again.”
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However, it is important to note this is for England only, and driving and theory tests are still suspended in Scotland and Wales.
In Northern Ireland tests for car drivers remain suspended, but for those taking tests to drive bus, tractor, module 4 DCPC tests for lorry, bus and coach drivers can book tests from July 6.
The theory tests will take place with social distancing measures in place to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
AA Driving School has said it was advising instructors they should “thoroughly” clean vehicles before and after each lesson: “paying particular attention to areas of the car that are touchpoints, such as door handles.”
Other safety measures for instructors include:
- Wearing clothes that cover arms and legs
- Wearing face coverings and disposable gloves (to be changed after each lesson)
- Keeping windows down throughout the lesson
Car driving tests will restart in England on Wednesday, July 22 which will give learner drivers time to have refresher lessons and practice before taking their test.
Gareth Llewellyn, Chief Executive of the DVSA, said: “It has been vital that lessons and tests only resume when safe to do so and in line with the government’s advice.
“We know this has been a tough time for the whole country including learners and driving instructors but I am pleased to announce the restart of lessons and tests in England.
“Tests for critical workers have continued during the lockdown and I would like to thank all those instructors and examiners who have continued to work to help deliver tests for those who have done so much to help us during this terrible pandemic.”
There had been planned changes for theory tests, due to come into effect on April 14, 2020, however, these have not gone ahead due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The DVSA has said it will make these changes to the theory test as soon as possible.
In the meantime, the theory test will continue to work in the same way as it currently does.