Peter Brabin, Head of Instructor Training at Bill Plant Driving School, said:

“As shops and public transport begin to reintroduce the government’s face mask measures, driving instructors around the country will also need to re-affirm their rules to fall in line with the new requirements. 

It is crucial to know what the measures will be and the reasons why they are so important. Face coverings are now mandatory during all professional driving lessons, formal driving tests, and throughout any practical test. This essentially means that if you’re learning, teaching, or testing driving, you will need to have your face mask on. 

With new covid cases remaining high for several months, alongside the arrival of a new variant, the overwhelming majority of our instructors already abided by the government guidance to wear a face covering. I’m sure moving forwards all of our instructors will fully understand and support the requirements to wear a mask, to help support the UK government’s efforts to combat a potential rise in infections. With close contact being the nature of the job – this is the safest option, especially going into winter where we are less able to open windows to help ventilate the car.

It is worth noting that while there are certainly some challenges to learning to drive with a face covering, these can be overcome with the right preparation. While masks could make an instructor slightly harder to hear, by providing clear guidance to pupils on lesson expectations before setting off and when the car is parked, this can help offset this, alongside removing any distractions like loud music. From an instructor’s point of view, it can also be a bit more difficult to determine a pupil’s level of comfort in a particular driving situation as it is harder to establish facial expressions, so it’s best to ensure a student is fully familiar with the concept they’ll be practising, prior to getting them out on the road. Finally while those with glasses may struggle more as they can steam up, by washing them with soapy water prior to the lesson, you will find your vision improves dramatically!

While mask-wearing can make some aspects of driving lessons harder, it is definitely the right thing to establish the rules in support of the govt. and to ensure that all pupils and instructors are kept safe, which is our number one priority both on and off the road. Any pupil or instructor found not to comply with the face mask rule will be at risk of receiving a fine of up to £200, with the cost rising for multiple offences to £6,400.”A full guide to COVID-19 secure driving lessons can be found here:

https://www.billplant.co.uk/learn-to-drive/driving-lessons-covid-19/