Coronavirus - (COVID-19)

Saturday 25th July 2020

New Practical Test Procedures

Car driving tests will restart on Wednesday 22 July 2020 but will only be for people who had their driving test cancelled because of coronavirus to begin with.

Arranging your driving test appointment

If your car driving test was cancelled due to coronavirus, you were sent an email with a new date and time for your test. The new date you were given will not go ahead. This includes if the new date you were given was after the 22nd July. Do not go for your test on that date. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will email you again to ask you to go online and choose your preferred date and time for your test.

When the emails will be sent

These emails will start to be sent on 16 July and will be in batches, in order of when tests should have originally taken place. It might take several weeks for you to get your email, depending on when your test was originally scheduled.

 

Declare if you cannot wear a face covering

When you arrange your test, you’ll need to say if there’s a good reason you cannot wear a face covering when you take your test.

Booking a new driving test

You cannot currently book a new driving test if you did not have one booked before lockdown. Driving tests will be carried out for people who had their test cancelled because of coronavirus as a priority.

 

Candidates booking or moving tests must be ready to take their test and the instructor (or accompanying driver) must be available to take them to the test. My ADI number may not be able to be attached to bookings at the moment, so you must contact me to check my availability when asked by DVSA to book your test to prevent double bookings. 

 

On the day of your driving test

Do not arrive for your driving test more than 5 minutes before your appointment time. The driving test centre waiting room will be closed to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, but the toilets will be available on request.

 

Keeping you safe when you take your test

DVSA has introduced social distancing measures and safety precautions.

These include:

  • driving examiners wearing face coverings - they might also choose to wear gloves and use disposable seat covers

  • limiting the number of people arriving for a driving test at the same time

  • not allowing your driving instructor or supervising driver to sit in the back during your test

 

Wearing a face covering

You must bring and wear a face covering when you come for your test, unless you have a good reason not to. This includes if:

  • you have 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

  • you need to remove it during your test to avoid harm or injury or the risk of harm or injury to yourself or others

You need to say if you have a good reason not to wear a face covering when you arrange your test.

Your test will be cancelled if you come for your test without a face covering and you did not declare you could not wear one when you arranged your test.

You will need to remove your face covering briefly so your driving examiner can check your ID.

 

During your driving test

If you have a problem with your face covering during the test, your driving examiner will ask you to stop so you can adjust it. Your driving examiner will end the test early if it becomes a safety issue.

 

If you make a mistake

You can carry on if you make a mistake during your driving test. If you make a serious or dangerous fault, which means you’ve failed, your driving examiner will direct you back to the driving test centre, where the test will end. This is to minimise the amount of time you need to spend in the vehicle.

At the end of your test

Your driving examiner will:

  • ask you to get out of your vehicle before they give you your test result feedback

  • ask if you want your instructor to come over to listen to the feedback if it’s safe to do so

This is to minimise the amount of time you need to spend in the vehicle.

 

You must not come for your driving test if:

You have to stay at home (self-isolate). Change your driving test appointment if you need to self-isolate on the day of your driving test. You can do this free of charge if you’re self-isolating, including if you do it at short notice (within 3 clear working days of the test).

If you’re clinically extremely vulnerable from coronavirus

If you’re clinically extremely vulnerable, you should have received a letter telling you that you’re in this group or have been told by your GP. DVSA recommends that you take your test after shielding has been paused. Currently this is from 1st August 2020.

Saturday 4th July 2020

So, we are finally allowed to resume lessons, but there will need to be changes to ensure that we all stay safe and prevent any further spread of Covid-19. The following is what I plan to put in place. 

Important information for lessons after the Covid-19 pandemic 

Cancellations (T & C’s):

My usual T&Cs for cancellations have been suspended due to COVID-19 so, either you or I can cancel lessons, for safety reasons, without having to worry about the consequences

You should cancel: 

  • If you or anyone in your household becomes unwell and has symptoms 

  • If you believe you may have been in contact with someone showing symptoms 

I will cancel: 

  • If I become unwell and show symptoms or if anyone in my household is showing symptoms 

  • If I believe I may have been in contact with someone showing symptoms

 

The week before your lesson we need to:

 

  • consider whether you or I have had any symptoms of the virus within the last 7 days or have been in contact with someone who has within the last 14 days

  • confirm that your health (physical or mental) has not changed during lockdown and that you are not on any form of medication that may affect your driving

  • check your licence electronically if you are a new student -  https://www.gov.uk/checkdriving-information

I will explain how we do this

  • ensure that the PPE you choose does not impede your ability to control the vehicle or communicate. 

 

Prior to your lesson:

 

  • either the day before or on the day of your lesson I will message you and check if you have had any symptoms of the virus within the last 7 days or have been in contact with anyone that is showing symptoms or has been doing so within the last 14 days

 

On the day of your lesson:

 

  • I will have just fully sanitised the car inside and out. This will include; door handles, internal mirror, window and mirror controls, seat adjusters, head restraint controls, seatbelt and its connecter, gear lever, steering wheel, indicator and wiper stalks, car keys, training materials and anything else that may have been touched

  • I will have just cleaned my hands with sanitiser  

  • I will have put on a new face mask

  • remember to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, or use a suitable hand sanitiser, immediately before the lesson

  • we will again assess whether we are well enough to start the lesson

  • please come to the car but do not get in straight away as I may not have finished sanitising

  • You will not be able to use the cars storage areas for your keys, phone, purse, wallet. etc.

  • there will be no hand shaking

  • if you want to wear disposable gloves, please put them on just before getting into the car

  • wear suitable clothing providing as much covering as is reasonable, although short sleeves are acceptable

  • will check your eyesight - if we are in a suitable position

 

During the lesson we:

 

  • will minimising contact for safety 

  • not be able to have others sit in on the lesson  

  • will not be able to share visual aids, pens etc. 

  • will have the windows down as much as possible to allow for ventilation, so please dress appropriately. 

  • will avoid using the air conditioning as much as possible but if we do it will not be set it to recirculate

  • must wear a face mask, so I suggest that you bring your own so that you can be 100% certain that it is clean and comfortable. If you have been advised to not wear a mask for medical reasons we will discuss alternative steps to take

  • are allowed to wear gloves but bear in mind that you may have a latex allergy so choose these carefully if you do want to wear them. I will not be wearing gloves so that I can sanitise my hands often

  • would not recommend the use of face visors, however, if you want to wear one, then a mask or face covering must also be used

  • we should both avoid touching our faces

  • if glasses become misted we may have to pause the lesson temporarily

  • may stop more frequently to get some air

  • should try to avoid directly facing each other when discussing the lessons progress or may have the discussion outside of the car where it’s safe and legal to do so 

  • If I have to touch the controls during the lesson we should stop at the earliest opportunity and wipe down the controls 

  • If we touch hands we should both sanitise our hands 

 

After the lesson:

 

  • wash your hands as soon as you can

  • It is advisable to wash your clothing as soon as possible

  • I will securely store my used face mask in a disposable rubbish bag within a secure container. 

  • you should dispose of your PPE appropriately

  • I will be using my diary for ‘Track & Trace’ purposes

Thursday 7th May 2020

Hi everyone, 

I hope that you are all well and managing to stay safe without going completely stir crazy!?

It sounds as though Boris Johnson is going to give us an update this Sunday (10th May) on how he plans to relax the current lockdown situation. Following this I will hopefully have a better idea of what they are planning and perhaps be able to put some things in place so that we can get back to lessons again safely and as soon as possible.

I have to be honest and say that I am not expecting driving instructors, or anyone else that has to work in close proximity to others, to be allowed back to work quite yet, especially as Scotland have announced a further 3 weeks of lockdown, however I am making plans for when it can happen. I will be thoroughly cleaning the car between each lesson, I will be wearing disposable gloves and I think it’s highly likely that we will all be required to wear a mask of some sort. 

I will continue to update everyone as and when possible and let’s hope for some good news on Sunday.

Take care and stay safe.

Graeme 

Friday 20th March 2020

Today, I have made the very difficult decision to stop all driving lessons with immediate effect.

 

So far, there has been no direct instruction from the government but the DVSA cancelling all practical tests for 3 months, for all but critical workers, and the continuing advice to observe 'social distancing' means that I can no longer justify putting myself and my students at risk.

 

I believe that this is the right thing to do as the more we have contact with other people outside of our immediate families the greater the risk to those we love and care about.

 

I am extremely disappointed that, as yet, the government have not come up with a plan for the self-employed, so this will hit all of us hard financially as well as potentially jeopardising the future of a lot of businesses.

I will continue to monitor the situation on a daily basis and update all my students as and when necessary. Hopefully it won't be too long before we can carry on with lessons.

Please take care of yourselves, keep your distance from others and stay safe.

07710 693397

41 Thames Mead, Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford OX10 8HA, UK

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