Lockdown measures are gradually being eased across the UK, with parts of society now slowly re-opening.
Boris Johnson announced on Tuesday that pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and cinemas could re-open in England from 4 July, marking the next phase in the easing of a lockdown which was imposed in the UK back in March in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
As shops and services slowly began to move back into action, those who had been taking driving lessons might also be wondering when they may start again.
Just when can driving lessons restart – and what safety precautions will be in place?
Currently there is no confirmed date for driving lessons to resume.
Driving lessons and tests were suspended for three months from 20 March as the country began to shut down many services and stores in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
It’s not yet clear whether this suspension will be extended or whether lessons may start again once this period is over.
Currently, it’s only possible to have a driving lesson or driving test if you are a key worker – for example if you work in a hospital or as a carer – and need to be able to drive for this.
In that instance you can book a driving test via the Government’s website – while many driving schools are also offering lessons for key workers at this time.
Gareth Llewellyn, chief executive of the DVSA, said in a letter to driving instructors: ‘Driving instruction and tests will only restart when the government is confident that the assessment of risk warrants it, subject to the five tests [relating to reducing infection rates] and further detailed scientific advice.
‘In the meantime, I want to re-emphasise that you should continue to limit driving lessons to critical workers who are preparing for an emergency driving test.’
With social distancing impossible when it comes to driving lessons and tests, driving instructors may have to take other precautions to ensure both they and their students are safe when lessons resume.
The Driving Instructors Association has issued a list of guidelines on its website, including asking pupils to wash their hands or use hand sanitiser before getting in the car, to cover their nose or mouth when sneezing or coughing, and to keep a window in the car open for ventilation.
It has also suggested instructors clean the inside and outside of the vehicle, including door handles, steering, brakes and controls before a lesson.
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