Learner drivers have not been able to practice with instructors or take their tests during lockdown.
They could only practice to drive with members of their household or support bubble.
But Boris Johnson’s roadmap announcement yesterday means they will finally be able to get back on the road.
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Theory tests, practical tests and lessons have all been banned under the nationwide lockdown since the beginning of January.
But the Prime Minister’s announcement means driving lessons will resume on 12 April.
The loosening of restrictions is subject to change, however, if there is a spike in Covid cases so the date could yet be moved by the Government.
Those who have driving tests booked before the 12 April date, are eiligble for a refund which they can apply to the DVLA for.
There is likely to very few tests available because of the backlog, similar to the situation after last year’s lockdowns.
Just over 194,000 tests were conducted over the first two quarters of 2020/21 compared to almost 850,000 recorded at the same stage last year.
Simon Williams, an RAC spokesperson, said in December: “The scale of the pandemic’s impact on novice drivers is clear to see.
“Even with looser restrictions over the summer, the number of practical driving tests was only half what it was in the same period last year.
“Given how important the ability to drive is in enabling people to work, there will undoubtedly be enormous frustration among learners about having to delay the start of their driving careers.”
Both learner drivers and instructors are likely to be subject to strict rules on PPE when tests and lessons resume.
Instructors were previously urged to “thoroughly” clean vehicles before and after lessons and also pay “particular attention to areas of the car that are touch points” such as door handles.
Anyone taking lessons or a test may also be advised to wear a face covering and disposable gloves.
Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales will set their own rules regarding driving lessons.
Social distancing is difficult to implement in a car as both the instructor and learner have to be in close proximity.
Step-by-step lockdown roadmap
- From 8 March: All schools will open with outdoor after-school sports and activities allowed. Socialising in an outdoor public spaces – such as a park – will be allowed between two people
- From 29 March: Return of the “Rule of Six”: Groups of larger than six from a maximum of two households will also be allowed to meet. Outdoor sport and leisure facilities, such as golf courses and tennis courts, will be allowed to reopen, and organised outdoor sport can resume for children and adults
Step 2 – From 12 April
- All non-essential retail can reopen
- Pubs, restaurants and cafes can reopen, with outdoor seating only
- Gyms and other indoor leisure can reopen (limited to household groups)
- Hairdressers and other personal care businesses can open again
- Domestic holidays can resume (limited to household groups)
- Outdoor attractions like zoos and theme parks can reopen
- Weddings and wakes can have up to 15 people
- Libraries and community centres can reopen
- All children’s activities can resume, including indoor parent and children groups with up to 15 parents
- Tests will be conducted for larger events
Step 3 – From 17 May
- Rules of Six will come into effect indoors (subject to review)
- Indoor seating can resume in pubs and restaurants
- Indoor entertainment venues like cinemas and theatres can reopen
- Domestic overnight stays can resume
- Organised indoor adult sport can start again
- Weddings and other “significant life events” can include up to 30 people
- Remaining outdoor entertainment, such as performances, can resume
- Remaining accommodation can reopen
Step 4 – From 21 June
- Larger events can resume
- Night clubs can reopen
- No legal limits on social contact
— to inews.co.uk