To help keep you, your family, your pupils and our examiners safe, we’d encourage both you and your pupils to regularly take coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid lateral flow tests. This includes while you’re teaching them to drive and within the 4 days before they take their driving test.
Around 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 do not have symptoms. Rapid lateral flow tests help to find cases in people who may have no symptoms but are still infectious and can give the virus to others.
If you live in England you can get a coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid lateral flow test if you do not have symptoms. They’re free and you get a result 30 minutes after taking the test.
Find out how to get a rapid lateral flow test
Getting tested regularly is the only way to know if you have the virus. If people test positive and self-isolate, it helps stop the virus spreading. You should take a rapid lateral flow test twice a week (every 3 or 4 days).
This applies even if you’ve had the first dose or both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccine has been shown to reduce the chance of you suffering from COVID-19 disease. You may still get COVID-19 despite having a vaccination, but this should be less severe.
The NHS does not yet know how much it will reduce the risk of you passing on the virus. You’re also more likely to be teaching pupils in the age groups where the data shows infection rates are some of the highest and where vaccination is still to be undertaken.
What this means for your pupils
Your pupils will not need to take a rapid lateral flow test to be able to take their driving test, but by doing one, they’ll help to stop the spread of COVID-19.
For the rapid lateral flow test to be valid, your pupil will need to take the test in the 4 days before their driving test.
If your pupil or anyone they live with tests positive from a rapid lateral flow test, everyone in the household must:
• self-isolate immediately
• get a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to confirm the result (a PCR test is a different type of COVID-19 test)
If a PCR test result is negative
If your pupil and everyone they live with gets a negative PCR test result back before their driving test, they can stop self-isolating and take their driving test.
If a PCR test result is positive or they do not get a PCR test result in time
Your pupil must not go for their driving test if either:
• they or someone they live with has a positive PCR test result
• their rapid lateral flow test result is positive, and they do not get a PCR test result back before their driving test
They will need to change their driving test appointment to a later date.
They can then email us if they’d like us to try and find an earlier appointment. They should email email@example.com with the email subject ‘Lateral flow rebooking’ and include 2 of these 3 pieces of information:
• their driving licence number
• their theory test pass certificate number
• their driving test reference number
We’ll then try to find them an earlier test appointment.
We’ll only do this if they changed their test appointment within 4 days of their test. This service cannot be used by anyone else to try to get an earlier appointment. We will refuse anyone who is not eligible who tries to use this service.
We’re contacting all driving test candidates to let them know how to get a rapid lateral flow test and encourage them to get them while they’re learning to drive and before they take their driving test.
If you have a booked a driving test for any of your pupils, you need to pass this information on to them.