The risk of catching COVID-19 has been rated as high, and the government have announced that everyone must stay at home unless it is to:
- Shop for essential items and basic necessities
- Take one form of exercise per day
- Provide care to or help a vulnerable person
- To travel to and from essential work
With this development we have some updates and advice for drivers and learners. As a driver, if you are leaving the house for one of the four reasons listed above, there are extra precautions you should take to ensure that you remain safe. As a learner, you’re probably wondering how this will affect you learning to drive.
Preventing the spread of COVID-19 as a driver
By now, everyone should be clear on the government’s advice on preventing the spread of infection. Washing your hands regularly for 20 seconds, catching coughs/sneezes in tissues and regularly using hand sanitizer. However, there are some additional things to bear in mind to prevent the spread of infection.
Direct contact with fuel pumps/air pressure pumps at petrol stations should be avoided. When filling up your car, use the plastic gloves provided and try to avoid coming into direct contact with the pump or any of the controls such as the pay at pump machine.
Fill up with a full tank every time so that you limit the number of times you have to visit the petrol station. When you’ve finished refuelling, remove the gloves, dispose of them correctly and immediately sanitise your hands before getting back into the car.
Petrol pumps are the perfect place for the virus to spread as a large number of people will have touched the pump. The pumps are mainly plastic and metal-based; the virus can live on these surfaces for up to 72 hours.
Supermarkets are a prime location for the spread of the virus. The volume of people going in and out of the supermarkets is higher than ever. You must take extra care when visiting a supermarket. Stick to the 2-meter social distancing rule as much as possible; it’s not worth breaking this rule in a bid to get the last pack of toilet rolls on the shelf.
If using a trolley or basket, wipe it down with antibacterial wipes before and after using it and wash or sanitise your hands. Avoid picking up lots of items and placing them back on the shelf if you decide not to buy them, only pick things up you know you are buying.
Most supermarkets are encouraging customers to pay with cards or using contactless payment systems such as apple pay. These measures are not only to protect members of staff but also to protect you. When leaving the supermarket, use hand sanitiser before getting into the car or touching anything.
You should limit your visits to the supermarket as much as possible, try to do a big shop for all of your essential items in one go. One person from each household should go to the supermarket; this should be someone in the house who is young, fit and healthy.
Take extra precautions when visiting pharmacies/chemists. Many people visiting pharmacies are probably unwell, so be careful and follow the precautions laid out above.
With the new rules put into place by the government to leave the house only if absolutely essential, the number of people taking public transport should be considerably reduced. However, public transport will still be used by critical workers and due to public transport services being significantly reduced, they may seem busier.
If it is essential for you to use public transport during this time, follow the social distancing rules as much as possible, avoid touching surfaces and regularly use hand sanitiser.
If it’s particularly busy on the train/bus you are due to catch, consider waiting for the next one. You could also speak to your boss/manager to see if you can travel to and from work outside of peak times.
General advice for drivers
- Keep hand sanitiser, tissues and bin bags in your car
- Dispose of any rubbish in the vehicle once or twice a day if needed
- Keep car windows open slightly to provide fresh air and ventilation
- Sanitise your car keys as well as any external parts of the vehicle such as door handles, fuel caps etc.
Advice for learner drivers during COVID-19
Following the government’s advice, driving lessons are currently postponed until April 20th for non-key/critical workers. This is to protect our instructors and our learners.
We will continue to provide driving lessons for key and critical workers during this time. It is essential that these workers can get to and from work, and many employers are pushing for employees to pass their driving tests as soon as possible. We are also offering intensive driving courses for critical/key workers.
To reiterate, for anyone who is not a key worker, as of March 23rd 2020, driving lessons will be postponed until April 20th 2020. We are encouraging anyone planning to take driving lessons to make their bookings in advance as we are getting booked up quickly. We also currently have our biggest ever sale on, so book in now to take advantage of this.