England is under new lockdown restrictions from 5 November 2020. This means you should:
- Stay at home, except for specific purposes.
- Avoid meeting people you do not live with, except for specific purposes.
- Close certain businesses and venues.
Eleven areas in Scotland are under level 4 restrictions.
Protection level 4 has the strictest restrictions and these include no driving or motorcycle lessons. The guidance states:
“Driving lessons, including motorcycle lessons, must not be held unless all occupants of the vehicle or vehicles are from the same household. Driving instructors must not travel outside their local authority area to provide lessons.”
The 11 areas are:
- East Renfrewshire
- East Dunbartonshire
- West Dunbartonshire
- North Lanarkshire
- South Lanarkshire
- East Ayrshire
- South Ayrshire
- West Lothian
Northern Ireland will begin a two-week firebreak lockdown from Friday 27 November.
Driver and rider training
DVSA guidance states driver and rider training is not permitted in England from 5 November. All driving tests in this time are cancelled. Currently, driver and rider training and testing will restart on 3 December.
Driver and rider training is not permitted in Scotland in areas under level 4 restrictions.
Driving instructors are not permitted to operate in Northern Ireland during the two-week firebreak lockdown.
Training and testing of key workers
DVSA has confirmed that there is no critical/key worker priority service during the current English lockdown. The agency says you should not offer driving lessons to key workers during this period.
HMRC Helpline: 0800 0159 559 (a lot of the benefits and business support will be channeled through HMRC)
Business advice and financial concerns
The National Associations Strategic Partnership (NASP) has offered the following guidance for driver and rider trainers:
Try not to panic. Easy to say, but set aside some time, sit down calmly with a clear head and look at your business. There will be a way through this if it becomes difficult, you are planning ahead and it hasn’t actually happened yet.
Look at your variable costs in the business you have control over, can any of those cost be cut back for a short time?
Do not stick your head in the sand. If you’re looking at bills coming in and you’re not going to be able to cover them, contact the companies concerned. Be proactive – businesses are all in this situation together and it is in the interest of everyone to work together. For example; can they help by extending the time you have to pay?
Can you cut back on your day-to-day living costs? You know you best and know what you could cut back on if needs be.
Unfortunately this situation will get worse before it gets better, so our advice would be to immediately cut down on your outgoings.
Preventing spread of infection
Wash your hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds using soap and hot water, particularly after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose, or after being in public areas where other people are doing so. Use hand sanitiser if that’s all you have access to.
To reduce the spread of germs when you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or your sleeve (not your hands) if you don’t have a tissue, and throw the tissue away immediately. Then wash your hands or use a hand sanitising gel.
Clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces using your regular cleaning products to reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people.
- Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
- Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
Avoid direct contact with fuel pumps and/or air pressure pumps at the petrol station, and also pay and display ticket machines. If your car is going in/coming out of a garage, others will have been using the controls, so make sure you throughly disinfect. Avoid handling cash and get a contactless payment system or use bank transfers.
With thanks to colleagues within NASP and DVSA for their contributions to this information. We will continue to exchange advice and information with these partners to help get as much guidance out to the industry as possible.
Last updated: Tuesday 24 November 2020, 08:30