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26 June 2020, 10:19 | Updated: 26 June 2020, 10:25
The government has confirmed when driving lessons and practical tests can restart in England.
With lockdown rules in the UK slowly relaxing, now people in England will be able to resume driving lessons from July 4th.
Theory tests will also be possible from July 4, while people can take their practical test from July 22. This will give learners time for refresher lessons before being tested.
These guidelines do not apply to those living in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “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 and I am very pleased to announce the restart of driving tests and lessons in a COVID-secure way.”
Tests have continued for key workers through lockdown, while all other lessons have been banned over the last three months.
Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg told MPs yesterday that plans are currently being worked out to help instructors get back to a life ‘as close to normal as possible’.
Mr Rees-Mogg confirmed there will be a ‘phased approach’ to practical testing to avoid a second peak of coronavirus, as he explained: "The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency's (DVLA) chief executive will be writing to all approved driving instructors on June 25 setting out plans to restart driver testing and to help them to 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 July 4, 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."
This comes after guidance was recently reviewed for examiners and instructors which covers a number of things such as the PPE they will need to wear, how they will now greet candidates (no shaking of hands), and how they should be cleaning equipments going forwards.
The letter said masks and gloves have been ordered for all driving examiners, but there has been a delay in obtaining them because of wider shortages.
The agency, which is in charge of carrying out driving tests and approving people to be driving instructors, also warned that social distancing measures might limit the number of tests it can carry out.