The DVSA has issued a ‘driving test update’ telling driving instructors that PPE will need to be worn once UK driving tests and lessons resume. While no official date has yet been given for the return of practical tests and lessons, in a letter issued by the DVSA, chiefs have told instructors to be prepared for a ‘new normal.’
The DVSA’s letter states that instructors must wear masks and gloves to keep themselves and learner drivers safe from coronavirus. However, DVSA chief executive Gareth Llewellyn was still unable to say when it would be safe for driving lessons, practical tests and theory tests to resume.
In recent weeks, driving instructors have expressed their frustration over a lack of communication from the DVSA about returning to work. Instructors up and down the country claim they have been ‘left in the dark’, and while the DVSA’s letter has at least opened a dialogue, driving tutors are still left without an official return to work date.
In the letter, Llewellyn wrote: “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.”
Driving test suspensions
The DVSA’s driving test update follows the suspension of practical driving exams on 20 March. With an estimated 400,000 people reportedly taking a driving test every quarter in the UK, the DVSA is faced with a monumental backlog of learners waiting to taking a test, many of whom won’t have been able to practice in recent months.
Llewellyn said that when driving tests can resume, all examiners will be supplied with PPE. The DVSA’s chief executive 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.”
Keyworkers can take driving tests
Those on the government’s keyworker list have still been able to take ‘emergency’ driving theory tests and practical exams throughout the pandemic. However, the rest of the learner driver community still remains in the dark over when lessons and tests are likely to resume. The DVSA’s driving test update didn’t give any indication of when either would restart.
However, the government has indicated that tests could resume in early July.
In the letter Mr Llewellyn thanked those who have been able to provide driving lessons and tests for critical workers. He said: “Once again, I would like to thank those of you who have been able to offer driving lessons to critical workers during these unprecedented times”
“We will, of course, share more information with you as soon as it’s available – including the dates that driving instruction and driving tests can restart,” he added.