Continue to work safely during the pandemic

Continue to work safely during the pandemic

Dear Colleagues,

Please see the latest update from the DVSA:

 

Continue to work safely during the pandemic

As coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions in Great Britain continue to ease, it’s important that we all continue to take actions to stop the spread of COVID-19.

DVSA and the driving instructors’ National Associations Strategic Partnership (NASP) would like to thank you for all your hard work and support in successfully and safely restarting lessons and tests last month. We also encourage you to continue to follow some simple steps to keep you and your pupils safe and avoid driving test cancellations.

We need to do all that we can to protect the driver training industry to make sure that we can continue to offer a driving test service. If driving examiners have COVID-19 or come into contact with someone who has it, they cannot work and driving tests will be cancelled.

Just one driving examiner who has to self-isolate as a result of testing positive or coming into close contact with someone with COVID-19 will cause 40 or more driving tests to be cancelled.

This is why it’s vital that everyone continues to follow government guidance about protecting themselves and others from COVID-19 so we can keep training and testing on track.

Keep your car clean and let fresh air in

It’s important to continue to keep the inside of your car clean for lessons and sanitise it before each pupil gets in. You must make sure the inside of your vehicle is cleaned before a test.

It is also important that you continue to keep you windows open as much as possible during lessons to let fresh air in (ventilation).

Face coverings

Driving lessons
To help protect you, your pupils and their families in England and Wales, both you and your pupils should wear a face covering during lessons.

It’s been the law in Scotland since 2 November 2020 that you and your pupils must wear a face covering during driving lessons. If you do not wear a face covering, you must have a good reason. You can be fined £60 if you do not wear a face covering during a driving lesson in Scotland.

Driving tests
Your pupil must bring and wear a face covering when they come for their test in England, Scotland or Wales unless they have a good reason not to and they told us this when they booked their test.

We strongly encourage you to do the same.

Rapid lateral flow tests

It is really important that you take regular rapid lateral flow tests and encourage your pupils to do the same.

You should take a rapid lateral flow test twice a week (every 3 or 4 days).

Around 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 do not have symptoms. Rapid lateral flow tests help to find cases in people who may have no symptoms but are still infectious and can give the virus to others.

You can access free rapid lateral flow tests and find more details about how to get them in England, Scotland and Wales by visiting your government’s website.

Driving examiners are also being encouraged to do twice-weekly rapid lateral flow tests to pick up any cases quickly so they don’t spread the virus to other candidates and colleagues.

Taking rapid lateral flow tests before a driving test

Your pupils do not need to take a rapid lateral flow test to be able to take their driving test, but by doing one, they’ll help to stop the spread of COVID-19.

If they do test positive and have to cancel their test, they can email us and we can help them look for the earliest possible appointment once they have finished self-isolating or have received a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

We’ve already contacted candidates with a driving test booked in England, Scotland and Wales about the importance of doing regular rapid lateral flow tests and where they can get them from.

We will contact candidates with theory tests shortly encouraging them to regularly use rapid lateral flow tests before lessons and their test too.

If you have to self-isolate

In England, you might be able to get a Test and Trace Support Payment of £500 if you’ve been told to self-isolate because of COVID-19.

In Scotland, you might be eligible for the £500 self-isolation support grant.

In Wales, you might be eligible for the £500 self-isolation support scheme.

If you have had the vaccine

Even if you’ve received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccination it is important that you continue to follow the guidance above to help protect you, your pupils and your family. Even after both doses of the vaccine you can still catch COVID-19 and pass it on to others without knowing.

As most learner drivers are under the age of 30, it is unlikely that they will have been vaccinated against COVID-19. So you should continue to take recommended precautions to stop the spread of the virus.

More information

Check GOV.UK for the latest about:

instructor guidance

 

Yours sincerely

Peter

Peter Harvey
National Chair