It has been confirmed that driving lessons and practical and theoretical tests will resume in England this July, with new rules set in place and time given for refresher lessons.
Driving lessons and theory tests will resume in England on Saturday 4 July, while practical driving tests will return on Wednesday 22 July.
The return dates were confirmed after Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg announced he wanted to help instructors “return to a life that is as close to normal as possible, as quickly and fairly as possible”.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) confirmed that new rules will apply to all types of driver training in England, including when privately practicing with someone in your support bubble.
Theory test centres will open with new social distancing measures in place, and driving tests will restart more than two weeks later to give learner drivers time for refresher lessons.
Learners may be asked to wear face masks and wash their hands before each lesson, while instructors will be responsible for thoroughly cleaning vehicles and paying attention to key touch points.
Car windows can be rolled down to ventilate vehicles during lessons, but it’s unlikely that driving schools will use screens between seats, to ensure instructors have access to the steering wheel at all times.
Mr Rees-Mogg said the industry should return “in a way that avoids a second peak in infections”.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will set their own rules for the return of driving lessons and tests.
Gareth Llewellyn, DVSA Chief Executive, said: “We know this has been a tough time for the whole country including learners and driving instructors.
“It has been vital that lessons and tests only resume when safe to do so and in line with the government’s advice.”
There were 82,916 driving tests taken in March this year, a 40% drop compared with March 2019, when 136,783 were taken.
Statistics for the year are set to reflect an even more dramatic downturn.
Mr Llewellyn added: “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.”
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “As the country recovers from Covid-19, we can now open up our services to help get the country moving again.”
It is promising to see things begin to return to as close to normal as possible, however it is important that all safety measures are adhered to, in order to ensure optimum safety for everyone.