DVSA Update: Driver testing services – plan B restrictions ending in England

Driver testing services – plan B restrictions ending in England

Following the government’s announcement on the ending of plan B restrictions in England, we want to explain what these changes mean to driver testing services in England and how these changes will affect you and your pupils.

The main changes are:

  • you and your pupils are not legally required to wear face coverings during lessons, but government guidance suggests that you continue to do so in crowded and enclosed spaces where you may come into contact with other people you do not normally meet
  • your pupils should take a rapid lateral flow test on the day of their driving test, before leaving home
  • your candidates no longer have to wear a face covering for their theory test, but the government guidance suggests that you continue to do so in crowded and enclosed spaces where you may come into contact with other people you do not normally meet

We are asking practical test candidates to continue to wear a face covering, unless they have a good reason not to wear one. Your pupils need to advise us in advance if this is the case. We will be keeping this under review.

The current driving test safety measures in Scotland and Wales remain in place and we will let you know of any changes.

Driving lessons in England

You and your pupils no longer have to wear a face covering by law on professional driving lessons.

COVID-19 spreads through the air by droplets and aerosols that are breathed out from the nose and mouth of an infected person.

However, we are suggesting you and your pupils continue to wear a face covering during lessons in line with government guidance that suggests people continue to wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces where they may come into contact with other people they do not normally meet.

Driving tests in England

Wearing a face covering

We are asking you and you pupil to continue to wear a face covering when you come for driving tests, unless you or your pupil have a good reason not to, such as:

  • having a physical or mental illness or impairment, or a disability that means you cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering
  • putting on, wearing or removing a face covering would cause you severe distress

If your pupil has a good reason not to wear a face covering, we ask them, when they book their test, to tell us – if you have made the booking on behalf of your pupil you will need to do this if required.

Your pupil’s test may not take place without a face covering if they have not made us aware when booking their test. We will be keeping this under review.

Taking rapid lateral flow tests

We are asking your pupils to take a rapid lateral flow test before their driving test if they do not have COVID-19 symptoms. We are asking that they do this on the day of their driving test, before they leave home.

Find out more about taking a rapid lateral flow test before taking a driving test.

In England, you should now take a rapid lateral flow test if you’ll be in a high-risk situation that day. This includes being in enclosed spaces where there is limited fresh air. You can view the updated guidance about high-risk situations on the NASP website. 

Car cleanliness and fresh air

You must clean the inside of your car before bringing your pupil for test.

This means:

  • removing any rubbish or unnecessary items from the dashboard, footwells, door pockets, cup holders and seats
  • cleaning and wiping down the dashboard and car controls
  • making sure the passenger seat and footwell is not dirty

The examiner will do an additional clean of some surfaces, but your test will be cancelled if the inside of your car is dirty.

The car used for the test must have at least one window open on each side throughout the test. Any combination of windows can be opened. Your pupils should wear clothing suitable for the weather.

Driving test centre waiting rooms

In general, the risk of catching or passing on COVID-19 is higher:

  • in crowded spaces, where there are more people who might be infectious
  • in enclosed indoor spaces where there is limited fresh air

We continue to suggest you keep your distance, wear face coverings and practise good hand hygiene in our waiting areas in England to help reduce the spread of the virus. Thank you for your support and cooperation.

Theory tests in England

It is no longer a legal requirement for your pupils to wear a face covering whilst attending and taking their theory test.

However, we are asking candidates to wear face coverings during their theory test in line with government guidance on wearing a face covering in indoor spaces where people might come into contact with others they do not usually meet.

If your pupils wear a face covering to their theory test, they will be asked to remove it temporarily for staff to do an ID check.

Other safety measures such as the screen at reception areas and workstation dividers will remain in place.  

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