Driving lessons can begin again on July 4 says Jacob Rees-Mogg - as long as instructors wear masks and wind the windows down

  • Rees-Mogg today announced driving lessons can resume on July 4 in England
  • The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency yet to set out guidance for instructors
  • Some driving schools said future lessons will include PPE and cleaning regimes 
  • AA driving school advised instructors to wear masks and disposable gloves
Jacob Rees-Mogg has announced those learning to drive in England will be able to get behind the wheel for lessons again from July 4. 
The House of Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg said he wanted help instructors 'return to life that is as close to normal as possible, as quickly and fairly as possible.  
Instructions detailing how lessons and tests can resume safely will be sent out to instructors by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). 
No official regulations have been laid out yet, but new-look lessons are expected to include:
  • Instructors wearing masks, disposable gloves and clothing which covers their arms and legs
  • The windows rolled down at all times and instructors changing their gloves after every lesson
  • Vehicles to be thoroughly cleaned before and after every lesson , paying close attention to 'touch points' such as the steering wheel
  •  Students being asked to wear a mask and wash their hands before they get in the car for their lesson
Jacob Rees-Mogg announced driving lessons can resume from July 4 with safety measures in place to prevent a 'second peak in infections'
Jacob Rees-Mogg announced driving lessons can resume from July 4 with safety measures in place to prevent a 'second peak in infections'
Ress-Mogg said a 'phased approach' will be adopted to allow testing to gradually return to normal and he advised measures should be taken to 'avoid a second peak in infections'.  
But the announcement does not extend to other parts of the UK, with Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland adopting their own rules as to when and how tests can start up again. 
The Commons leader said during Business Questions in Commons today: 'From the 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 and there will be a phased approach to resuming practical testing so learners have the opportunity to practice before taking a test.'

What could social-distanced driving lessons look like? 

The AA Driving School has outlined measures their instructors can adopt to ensure they maintain safe practices. 
These include: 
  • Thoroughly cleaning vehicles before and after lessons 
  • Paying close attention to cleaning 'touch points' such as door handles
  • Wearing clothing which covers the arms and legs
  • Wearing face coverings and disposable gloves
  • Changing gloves after every lesson
  • Rolling down windows during the lesson  
In a further bid to ensure safe practices, learners will be asked to:
  • Wash their hands before they get in the car 
  • Wear a face mask
The organisation also suggested introducing plastic screens but it was decided instructors should be able to move the steering wheel in an emergency. 
It is not yet clear what measures will be suggested by the DVSA, but the government body, told the BBC more details regarding safety would be provided in 'due course'. 
Driving schools up and down the country have been preparing to resume lessons from the 6th of July based previous government guidance on the easing of lockdown but were finally given the green light today. 
The AA Driving School, which also owns the British School of Motoring, said it will provide its instructors with a set of guidelines to ensure they maintain safe practices, including wiping down common 'touch points' in the car, wearing clothes which cover their arms and legs, as well as face masks and gloves, and rolling down the window during lessons. 
The company's managing director, Sarah Rees, said the latest announcement was a 'welcome relief' but acknowledged it would be a challenging time for instructors. 
The RED Driver Training school said its instructors will 'follow industry best practice on PPE requirements' and will prepare and wipe down the steering wheel and other controls after every lesson.  
The latest news comes after the DVSA last week confirmed lessons and tests would remain on hold until there were adequate levels of PPE available, guidelines were published for cleaning vehicles and test centres were prepared. 
In an open letter to instructors from chief executive Gareth Llewellyn, he said driving lessons and tests will 'only restart when the Government is confident that the assessment of risk warrants it'. 
Llewellyn said that tests would be suspended until the DVSA could guarantee that safety measures put in place met the Government's five tests.
These are to protect the NHS's ability to cope, sustain a consistent fall in death rates from Covid-19, data shows infection rates are at manageable levels, adequate virus testing equipment and PPE is readily available, and that it will not increase the risk of a second peak in infections.
Handbrake on for learners: The DVSA has confirmed this week that driving lessons and tests will remain suspended with no return date
Handbrake on for learners: The DVSA has confirmed this week that driving lessons and tests will remain suspended with no return date
'Teams across DVSA have been working extremely hard over the past few months to make sure we're in the best possible position to restart our services as soon as it's safe to do so,' the agency boss said.
'Our priority is to make sure that you, your pupils and our staff stay safe.'
To achieve this, the DVSA confirmed it was reviewing what type of PPE instructors would need to wear and guidelines for how they can greet candidates as well which parts require cleaning after each lessons - for instance the steering wheel and touch-screen sat-nav system.
It claimed to have ordered PPE for all driving examiners, including face coverings and gloves - both of which are still in short supply.
It also said it planned to set out a clear plan of action should a driving test candidate or driving examiner develop symptoms in the days after a test.

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