Learner drivers in England will be allowed to restart lessons from July 4, it has been announced today by House of Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will, according to Rees-Mogg, be writing to all approved driving instructors today to set out plans on how to recommence driver testing and to ‘help them return to a life that is as close to normal as possible.’
“From 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,” said Mogg.
“And there will be a phased approach to resuming practical testing, so learners have the opportunity to practice before taking a test.”
Rees-Mogg also stated that lessons would recommence “as quickly and as fairly as possible, in a way that avoids a second peak in infections” as he spoke during Business Questions in the Commons today.
There are regional differences, and this doesn’t apply to the devolved nations.
Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will have their own rules on when tests and lessons can resume.
The move for the restart in England was welcomed by driving instructors.
Peter Brabin, head of training at Bill Plant Driving School, saying: “This is fantastic news for the industry. Not only have many Britons been unable to start or complete their driving lessons and take their tests, thousands of driving instructors have been left without an income for the past three months, with the industry coming to a halt – except for key workers who have been able to continue.”
Managing director of AA Driving School Sarah Rees told the BBC that it was a “welcome relief for the thousands of people in England” but added that instructors in the rest of the UK were “being left in limbo”.
Previously, the DVSA said driving instructors and examiners will have to wear PPE to keep learners safe from Covid-19.
Gareth Llewellyn, chief executive of the DVSA in a letter to instructors and examiners, he said: “I know the last few months have been challenging. I know the uncertainty is worrying.
“And I know you are concerned about how you can support your customers, your business and your family.”
All examiners will be provided with protective equipment, including face coverings and masks, ready for when tests restart, Mr Llewellyn said.
He said: “Since the start of the pandemic, there has been a high demand for this type of equipment.
“Like many organisations, we’ve had to wait for supplies to become available.”
It comes after driving instructors called for more clarity after the DVSA suspended driving tests in England, Scotland and Wales for up to three months from March 20 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking to us previously, the Approved Driving Instructors National Joint Council (ADINJC) said they are unable to plan lessons for learner drivers because there is “no proper plan” outlined by the DVSA for them.
Lynne Barrie, Chair for ADINJC, explained: “As an industry we are feeling really abandoned at the moment and very confused by the messages the Government is sending out.
“We hold a meeting each week with the DVSA who control the register of driving instructors and who we as a national association are stakeholders with.
“However the news coming out is very spasmodic and really isn’t helping us to plan ahead.”