This guidance provides practical advice for vehicle lessons and is an annex to the General Safer Workplaces Guidance which should be instructors’ primary reference. It also supplements information provided by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency which includes guidance on sitting theory and practical tests.
On 9 August all of Scotland moved to beyond Level 0 of the COVID-19 levels system, as set out in the Covid-19: Strategic Framework update.
Moving beyond Level 0 does not signal the end of the pandemic or a return to life exactly as we knew it before COVID-19. Although most legal restrictions will be lifted, and many people are now fully vaccinated, it is still possible for the virus to spread between people. Even with widespread vaccination, COVID-19 is likely to pose a threat in the future. It is important for all of us to act carefully and remain cautious. This is why we are keeping in place key measures which have helped in our efforts to stop the spread of the virus.
Although some limited legal restrictions are necessary, the emphasis will shift to personal responsibility, good practice and informed judgement. It will be important for us all to remain cautious to help protect ourselves and others.
To maintain the progress we have made towards returning to more normality, it is important for us all to continue to play our part by following the baseline measures to prevent COVID-19 resurging and to protect ourselves and each other.
Precautionary measures and good practice
The precautionary measures are steps intended to reduce the spread of the virus and help us maintain the good progress we have already made as we move forward to greater normality. This guidance must be read alongside the General Safer Workplaces Guidance which lays out the full precautionary measures to be followed.
Although some precautionary measures will remain as legal requirements, others will be encouraged alongside good practice to create safer conditions for staff and customers during the COVID-19 epidemic.
Mandatory measures to reduce the transmission of COVID-19
By law, face coverings must continue to be worn in most indoor public places including retail, restaurants, cafes, bars and public houses, in indoor communal spaces in workplaces and on public transport, unless you are exempt for specific circumstances. Face coverings are required by law in an enclosed motor vehicle while in use for a driving lesson or driving test, unless exempt under the current regulations or all occupants are from the same household. If only one occupant of the vehicle falls within an exempt category, other occupants must continue to wear their covering throughout. Individuals who have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccination are still required to follow the rules on face coverings.
The type of face covering required in law is set out in face coverings guidance and does not include a face shield. While face shields may be worn in some circumstances, we do not recommend their use during vehicle lessons due to the risk of injury in the instance of an air bag being deployed.
Test and Protect
Everyone should continue to follow Test and Protect rules and guidance which means you should stay at home if you have symptoms or test positive for COVID-19.
Anyone providing vehicle lessons or tests should not work at all if they have symptoms or are required to self-isolate. Affected customers should not attend.
Information on self-isolation and supporting employees with Covid symptoms can be found in General Safer Workplaces Guidance.
Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 will still be required to self-isolate for ten days.
Advisory precautionary measures and best practice
Even though the law has changed it’s important people keep thinking about how the virus can be transmitted. A number of advisory precautionary measures are set out in General Safer Workplaces Guidance relating to vaccination, hygiene and ventilation.
Alongside the wearing of face coverings in an enclosed motor vehicle, Test and Protect rules and guidance, and the advisory precautionary measures, instructors should assess their service to ensure they continue to provide lessons in the safest possible settings.
Due to the potential for increased risk of transmission, we also recommend:
- keeping distance where you can and to think about how best to use the space available
- maintaining a high standard of hand hygiene including washing hands regularly and making hand sanitiser available in public spaces if possible
- if needing to sneeze, or cough, around other people, sneeze into a tissue, handkerchief or your elbow to minimise the chance of spreading illness
- ensure touch points and controls are wiped down regularly, particularly between each lesson and at the end of the working day
- ensure the tuition vehicle is well ventilated, by opening windows or switching ventilation systems to draw fresh air. A balance must be struck between ensuring the vehicle is well ventilated and being able to hear instructor/client without shouting. Use your judgement, particularly when driving through louder/busier areas and at higher speeds.
- provide any relevant paperwork to the client in digital format where possible
- do not conduct driving lessons in vehicles fitted with screens between the driver and front passenger
- the client must fit their own earpiece if relevant, for example motorbike lessons, which should be provided by the client. If the client does not have a compatible earpiece, you can provide an earpiece that has been cleaned in accordance with good hygiene practice.