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Coronavirus / Driving tests could resume in Lerwick next month

DRIVING tests are expected to resume in Shetland in October after being suspended in March.

This is despite tests being available nationally since Monday (14 September).

A spokesperson for the DVSA said: “We are planning to schedule driver testing at Lerwick Driving Test Centre in October 2020 and will contact candidates on the test waiting list once the schedule for this site has been confirmed.

“Candidates looking to book a test at this site should contact our customer service centre to complete their booking and get on the test waiting list. They will be contacted with a test date when appointments become available.”

However, new Covid-19 restrictions are set to be announced later today (22 September) by Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon and it is unclear how they may affect driving tests.

Online bookings may appear to show that there are no tests scheduled in Lerwick until after January, but the DVSA stressed this is not the case.

At present the option for tests at remote test centres to be booked online has been removed. Candidates and instructors will now only be able to book by contacting the DVSA customer service centre 0300 200 1122.

Driving tests in Shetland are normally administered via an on “hold system” through the online booking service.

Due to the location, driving examiners are required to travel in advance and take up overnight accommodation in order to fulfil a test schedule, such as over a working week.

The DVSA said as a result, test schedules are arranged as and when it receives bookings from candidates.

This usually means specific test dates and times are not displayed in advance via the driving test booking service and candidates are placed on a waiting list.

The DVSA said it was making over 375,000 tests available in England, Scotland and Wales from Monday (14 September) up to 21 January.

On Tuesday evening it said 180,000 tests had been booked so far.

The driving test booking service was first reopened on 7 September, which saw 30,000 tests available over a six-week period.

Emergency practical driving tests were offered to critical workers during lockdown.