Driving instructors

No restart instructions – driving instructors

Nick Dorey, the owner of the Cann School of Motoring, is ready to start giving lessons again, but is awaiting guidance from states on what precautions he will need to take. (Photo by Sophie Rabey, 28313048)

Details of the fourth phase of lockdown are outlined on the states website. He said businesses unable to operate fully or under social distancing restrictions in the second and third phases will be allowed to operate under increased hygiene requirements.

Gyms, hairdressers, beauticians, restaurants and public places were some of the industries mentioned specifically. But driving instructors feel they have been left in the dark.

Driving School of Motoring owner Dave Sheppard said US support during school closures was excellent, but wished guidance on safely resuming classes had been provided sooner.

“Other businesses like hairdressers were told a while ago that they might reopen, but driving schools heard nothing.

“I called the United States two or three times because students called me to ask when they could resume classes, but I had to wait to give them information because I was told that the United States was still gathering advice and information.

Mr Sheppard said receiving the information he needs at today’s press conference would not give him enough time to prepare his business.

Cleaning the car between classes with disinfectant wipes is possible, but concerns remain about someone else being close to the car.

“It’s impossible to be two meters away in the car, we’re practically side by side and with the air conditioning running in the heat, all the germs are just recycled back into the car,” he said.

“If the states have determined that it is not yet safe for driving tests to proceed due to a lack of social distancing, how safe is it for me and other instructors to return to work?”

Nick Dorey, owner of Cann Driving School, is another awaiting advice before resuming lessons. “I probably won’t be able to start again right away, I thought by mid-June I would have everything sorted to get through classes safely,” he said.

“I will definitely call clients before the lesson to make sure they are not in the least bit ill or have been around someone who is unwell.

“Then, before they get in the car, I’m going to wipe down the steering wheel, the turn signals, the handbrake, the gear lever, the mirror and anything else they might touch so they’ll be happy, and then I’m going to wipe everything down once they leave the car.

Mr Dorey said the instructors’ situation was still a bit up in the air because states had yet to provide them with clear guidance on what they could and could not do.

“We are privately owned, so while a lot depends on us as owners, we want to comply with public health advice for the safety of everyone involved.”