As you will be aware from my previous communication if you are a current pupil, driving lessons will be restarting from Saturday 04th July 2020. In this letter, I have detailed some of the changes that will occur to your driving lessons as we all get used to the ‘new normal’ that Covid-19 presents us with. Its important to note that these changes are primarily for your safety and to ensure lessons can be conducted in the safest possible way. For that reason, these changes may change further in the future so please make sure you keep up to date with this page. Where anything written here contradicts my normal terms and conditions, these now take precedent though anything else in my regular terms and conditions still stand. Please ensure you have fully read through this letter to ensure you don’t miss anything important that would prevent you from taking your driving lesson on the day. To try and make this as clear as possible, I have said YOU MUST on any sections that would prevent the driving lesson from taking place. Though there are minimal laws currently surrounding anything Covid-related in terms of driving lessons, I have developed this guidance in line with our industry specific guidance, and this is again to ensure that your driving lessons are as safe as possible.
If you have any questions please feel free to let me know and please do not suffer in silence if anything here makes you anxious, please do let me know any concerns and I will always try to accommodate you. These are strange times for us all so will always be happy to offer any advice where needed.
Driving lessons between Saturday 04th July and Friday 17th July:
I will only be conducting minimal lessons during this time and therefore can only guarantee being able to offer one 1.5 or 2hr lesson for those pupils I had currently been teaching before lockdown, during this 2-week period. This is so I can trial the below procedures and ensure I am making my business as Covid-secure as possible. From Saturday 18th July, I aim to start full time with at least 1x 1.5 or 2 hour lesson per week for my regular pupils as well as to begin teaching some of those on my waiting list when a gap becomes clear.
Before your first lesson back, YOU MUST (PLEASE DO THIS ASAP!):
If you have not already done so since I got in touch with you last week, YOU MUST let me know your availability for the coming few weeks as without it I will not be able to offer you lessons. Your previous lesson times before the pandemic will no longer apply as I will need extra time to clean down the car etc.
License check code. YOU MUST visit the following website: www.gov.uk/view-driving-licence and produce a license check code for me to view before your first lesson back. If I do not have access to view your entitlement to drive, I cannot take you on driving lessons. You will need your driving license number and national insurance number to complete this and then please send me the check code which will be generated along with the last 8 digits of your long driving license number. If you have lost your National Insurance number needed for this, don't panic, get in touch with me so I can assist you. It won't stop driving lessons restarting for now.
Greeting before getting in the car:
At the start of each lesson, YOU MUST wait for me to greet you outside of the car and check that you are feeling well and ask you a couple of questions to ensure your wellness to drive. If you are already outside when I arrive, please wait for me to leave the car so I can greet you in the same way. Whilst you’re outside, I will be taking your temperature using an infrared forehead thermometer to ensure your temperature is within the normal range similar to what you may have already done to gain access to some stores as well as restaurants from 04th July. Don’t worry, this is completely contact free and reads your temperature without touching you to ensure you are well enough to enter the car. Only those pupils with a ‘normal’ temperature will be able to complete the lesson. This may all seem strange to start with but it does seem to be the ‘new normal’ and it is with your safety in mind to ensure we all keep as safe as possible and so you know only those who at least appear very well have gained access to my car.
YOU MUST wear a face covering when inside my car at all times, which you should make sure you provide yourself. It also looks like this will be mandatory for driving tests as well. This does not need to be a single use medical mask for lessons by any means, but just a covering similar to the rules surrounding public transport will be sufficient for lessons. Following the same guidance as public transport, please let me know in advance if you are exempt from this rule. As your instructor, I will be wearing either a clear Perspex face shield, face mask or both. depending on the situation. This will depend on your ability to hear me as from a road safety point of view as it is imperative you are able to hear my instructions clearly, particularly with the additional background noise of windows being slightly open.
The wearing of gloves is optional and entirely down to you though I will not wear them for teaching, I will wear them when cleaning the vehicle after each lesson. I will have a box in the car at all times which you are welcome to use, however these should be provided yourself given the risk of cross-contamination should you decide to wear them. The science behind the benefits of wearing gloves is patchy particularly given that a driving lesson is quite some time. Effective hand washing appears to me much more effective. If you would prefer me to wear gloves, please let me know and I will be more than happy to do so.
Should you be allergic to latex, please let make me aware so I can put plans in place.
YOU MUST wash your hands for at least 20 seconds literally just before you go to your driving lesson. This is by far the best method to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 over anything else. After doing so, please try to avoid touching your face until the lesson is over, particularly not with your hands.
Overall wellness/ cancellation policy:
YOU MUST tell me if you or a member of your household is feeling unwell, particularly if they have any symptoms of Covid-19 which can be found on the NHS website. YOU MUST do this as soon as possible so I can try to put alternative plans in place but at the very least, before you get into the car if symptoms have only just developed. I will not penalize any pupil who has to go into self-isolation, as long as they genuinely do go into self-isolation for the 7 or 14 day period depending on who has it as per NHS guidelines. The only exception to this is if the pupil has failed to tell me in a timely manner, when alternative arrangements could have been made.
Should Sean need to self-isolate:
If I need to self-isolate, I will give you as much notice as possible, though this could of course be at short notice. Due to this, I am no longer liable for any losses caused by missing a driving test or for any other reason given this is an instruction by the government, If the loss has been caused by my self-isolation.
If you or a member of your household are in the ‘shielding category':
You will not be able to take driving lessons until 01st August 2020 when the UK Government are currently planning to ‘pause’ shielding. If you or a member of your household are currently shielding, please let me know so I can try to plan your lesson at a time when there is the least risk, for example after the weekly deep clean.
As a minimum, all contact points will be cleaned between every lesson with an antibacterial spray that also is effective against viruses, such as Covid-19 and has come directly from a medical supplier. These contact points include, but are not limited to the steering wheel, auxiliary stalks, door handles, seat belt clip and buckle, head restraint, gear lever, handbrake, seat adjusters, bonnet catches and all dashboard buttons etc. At least weekly, my vehicle will also be given a deep clean in line with guidance to ensure all areas of the vehicle are reached. All cleaning will be done by myself whilst wearing gloves and no third parties such as car wash attendants will be cleaning my vehicle for the foreseeable future.
Signing your lesson off:
I will now not ask you to sign for your driving lessons to say your happy at the end of each lesson to help stop cross-contamination. Instead, I will send a message confirming your lesson and asking you to respond to say your happy, which YOU MUST do after each lesson before your next.
Hand sanitiser will be available in the car for your use should you wish to do so as well as for me and I will use hand sanitiser as a minimum just before and after each lesson.
Windows will remain partially open for the duration of the lesson in order to help with ventilation, which is thought to reduce the risk of transmission of Covid-19. I will be attempting to install wind deflectors before my return on my vehicle, which are designed to stop rain from entering the vehicle as well as the loud booming noises when travelling at speed.
Bringing items with you:
Anything you bring that cannot be kept on your person, will need to be placed in the boot and not anywhere else in the car such as the back seat or glovebox. Please do not bring any unnecessary items on your driving lessons unless you really need to.
I am now encouraging pupils to pay for their driving lessons by bank transfer only but will still be accept cash for those who can’t, but in banknote form only. No change will be given, but a note will be made about any overpayments so it can be resolved over coming lessons.
Contacting you before lessons
Please check your phone for a text message the night before your lesson as I may ask some health questions before your lesson. If I do, this will be sent at least 24 hours before the lesson which YOU MUST reply to.
Only you will now be able to come on driving lessons and you will not be able to bring a parent or anybody else in line with current driving test requirements.
I have tried to cover as much as possible but please feel free to get in touch with any questions. These have been designed with our safety in mind and if you have any questions, please feel free to ask.
Thanks a lot for your support during these strange times and I look forward to starting your lessons up again very soon!