Category: Coronavirus updates

Coronavirus Update

Update: 28.02.2022

From tomorrow (1st of March), you will no longer be required to wear a face covering during driving lessons or tests.

In line with other industries, all COVID restrictions have now been dropped by the DVSA.

  • Face coverings are now a personal choice for practical and theory tests
  • Driving tests will no longer end early as they have been doing since lockdown (unless the candidate’s driving is so poor it’s a risk to safety)
  • Instructors can sit in the back of tests again
  • Tests will no longer be cancelled if a vehicle is unclean
  • Pupils are encouraged not to come to a driving test if they have tested positive for COVID, though this is now not compulsory

Update: 17.02.2022

DVSA have announced that face coverings still need to be worn on driving tests unless you are exempt. This needs to be declared at the time of booking.

You are no longer required to wear a face mask during lessons or in theory test centres, though we are still advising the use of them.

We’ll update this page with more information as we get it.

Update: 19.01.2022

The government have announced that face masks will no longer be mandatory in England in indoor spaces from the 26th of January 2022. 

Despite this, we will still be recommending that all pupils and instructors continue to wear face masks for the foreseeable future to help keep everybody safe.

The law in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland is different and can be checked on the gov.uk website.

Update: 10.12.2021

In addition to the update provided at the end of November (see below) that outlined the law change on wearing a face covering during driving lessons, the rules have now changed for theory test centres too.

In England, face coverings are now a legal requirement during the theory test. You will need to let the DVSA know in advance if you are medically exempt from wearing a face mask. You can do this by calling their dedicated theory test face coverings exception phone line on 0115 6713129.

Update: 30.11.2021

The law on wearing a face covering in driving lessons has now changed.

  • You must now legally wear a face covering in your driving lesson unless you are medically exempt.
  • This is legally enforceable with fines ranging from £200 to £6400 for repeat offenders.

As a driving school, we have remained committed to our safety-first approach since the start of the pandemic and will continue to follow the guidance set out by the government as appropriate.

If you have any questions regarding your driving lesson, please contact the office as soon as you can.

For more information on wearing face coverings in public places, visit the government website by clicking here. We will also aim to keep this page updated as the law inevitably changes.

Update: 16.07.2021

New government guidance was published today by the DVSA for the new rules on wearing face coverings in driving lessons and tests in England.

1st 4 Driving recommend all pupils and instructors wear a face covering during lessons if possible, though this is now ultimately the choice of the individual and should be discussed before the lesson with your instructor. In some cases, lessons may not be able to go ahead if a pupil decides not to wear a face covering.

Face coverings help protect yourself and other people from spreading COVID-19 and have been a vital part of helping us continue to offer driving lessons with minimal disruption since reopening in April.

As of the 19th of July 2021:

Practical tests:

  • Face coverings are still required for tests unless a pupil has ‘good reason’ not to. This still needs to be declared in advance.
  • Cars will still need at least one window open on each side during tests
  • Instructors may be allowed to sit in on tests again (no date confirmed for this)
  • Examiners will still end a test early if the pupil makes a dangerous or serious fault to reduce time spent in the vehicle
  • Most test centre waiting rooms that are closed due to social distancing will be reopened

Lessons:

  • DVSA are still “expecting” and “recommending” both instructors and pupils to wear face coverings during lessons
  • Exercise caution
  • DVSA recommend testing twice a week even if you do not have symptoms. Rapid lateral flow tests are free and can be ordered from the government website
  • You still need to self-isolate if you’ve come into contact with a confirmed case. This is likely to change after August 16th if you’ve been double jabbed

Theory tests:

  • Masks “personal choice” but “strongly encouraged”
  • Screens etc will remain in place

Update: 12.04.2021

Driving lessons are now able to resume, with driving tests following on 22/04/2021. We’re expecting unprecedented demand and a big backlog in some areas so please bear with us while we try to take phone calls, contact existing pupils and respond to new enquiries.

We’re looking forward to welcoming everybody back and seeing a big summer of driving test passes!

Update: 05.01.2021

Driver testing and training has been suspended until further notice in line with new government restrictions

Update: 01.07.2020

We’re pleased to announce that we’re able to offer driving lessons in some parts of the country. As availability varies by area, please call us to book or complete our online booking form.

Update: 24.03.2020

In line with new guidance from the government, all lessons have been suspended until further notice.

Stay at home to stop coronavirus spreading

Everyone must stay at home to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

You should only leave the house for 1 of 4 reasons:

  • shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
  • one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household
  • any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
  • travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home

Update: 19.03.2020

In response to the ongoing the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic, 1st 4 Driving offers the following advice in line with the NHS and DVSA for pupils and instructors:

We have emailed all current pupils with up to date information regarding their driving lessons and new procedures. If you did not receive this email, please contact us now.

coronavirus

Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms

The NHS are recommending that you stay at home for 7 days if you have either:

  • A high temperature
  • A new, continuous cough

NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need NHS medical help and advises you what to do. If there’s a chance you could have coronavirus, you could be asked to stay away from other people (self-isolate).

Have a driving lesson booked?

If you start showing symptoms of coronavirus, please inform your driving instructor as soon as possible. If you don’t have your instructor’s number, you can call the office number on 0330 22 33 123 between Monday-Friday 9-5 or contact us via the other usual channels.

We are asking all pupils to wash their hands thoroughly before their driving lesson to help prevent the spread of the virus.

hand washing

Test booked?

If you have a driving test booked and are showing symptoms:

  • The DVSA have changed their short-notice cancellation policy for driving tests if you think you may have coronavirus.
  • This cannot be done online – you must call 0300 200 1122 between Mon-Fri 8-4

Please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us or your instructor if you have any further questions regarding cancellations.

Archive: masks must legally now be worn in driving lessons

Update: The law and guidance for the pandemic has now changed. Click here for the latest. This article has been archived.

From today (Tuesday 30/11/2021), the law around wearing masks in public spaces has changed. We’ll run through why the government have introduced this change, and what it means for your driving lessons.

From this morning, it is now the law that you must wear a face covering in your driving lesson unless you are medically exempt.

Many instructors have been implementing this since the last lot of restrictions were lifted in the summer, though this has previously been down to personal choice. Wearing a mask during a driving test has continued to be compulsory since the end of the national and tiered lockdown restrictions.

Instructors and pupils alike will now need to wear a face covering during driving lessons, with fines for non-compliance ranging from £200 to £6400 for repeat offenders.

Just as it is in shops, hair salons and on public transport, wearing a face covering is your responsibility and you will be asked to wear a mask before you enter the car on your lesson.

The face mask restrictions have come back into force in response to rising cases and the recent spread of the Omicron variant.

If you are medically exempt from wearing a mask, please let us know in advance of the lesson.

How we’re keeping you safe

1st 4 Driving and our instructors continue to work in accordance with government guidance and regulation to continue providing a safe environment for your learning while delivering the same enjoyable, productive driving lessons that you’re already used to.

If you’re an existing pupil and have any questions regarding COVID procedures, please contact the office or your instructor as soon as possible.

Any future updates to our coronavirus policy will be added here: 1st4driving.co.uk/covid-19

You can read the government’s official page on face coverings in public spaces by clicking here.

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