With theory tests restarting on July 4 in England, expect some big changes when you arrive at your local test centre, according to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA):

On arrival at the test centre

First, you must come into the test centre by yourself to help maintain social distancing. It is preferred that you also wear a face covering (so please do), and you will only need to remove it briefly once so staff can check your face against your ID photo.

However, test centres do not want you to wear a mask if they may cause you problems, for example, exacerbate a respiratory condition.

In the test centre

There have been several changes made that reduce risk plus ensure social distancing. These include:

  • Floor markings to ensure you keep two metres apart from staff and other learners.
  • Theory test workstations and chairs are now also placed two metres apart.
  • Protective screens installed at reception desks.
  • Hand sanitiser that should be used on arrival at the test centre, during the test itself, and on leaving the test centre.
  • Workstations (including computers and headphones) cleaned by staff before you use them.
  • Staff wearing face coverings and gloves (unless there is a medical reason they are unable to).

Who shouldn’t come for a theory test

The DVSA says you must not come for a theory test if:

• You or someone you live with has coronavirus symptoms.

• You have been told by the NHS Test and Trace service that you’ve been in contact with a person who has coronavirus.

• You have entered or returned to the UK in the last 14 days, except in very limited situations.

• You have to stay at home (self-isolate).

If you are self-isolating, you can change your theory test appointment here free of charge and at short notice (within 3 clear working days of the test).

Please remember if you are classified as clinically extremely vulnerable – your GP should have told you or you should have been sent a letter – you should wait until after August 1 before taking your theory test, or else you could be taking an unnecessary risk.

Again, if you have a test booked in before then, you can change it here.

What about the rest of the UK?

Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland continue to suspend theory testing but critical workers can still apply to take an emergency test.

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