COVID-19 has impacted every part of life in Northern Ireland, and with the situation changing almost daily, it’s difficult for new NI drivers to keep up to date with developments.
From delayed MOT’s to cancelled driving tests and restrictions on socialising; it’s fair to say new Northern Ireland drivers have been impacted relatively hard from the global pandemic.
Today we’re looking at COVID-19 and driving, so here’s what you need to know.
Can I still drive during the pandemic in Northern Ireland?
Yes, at the moment, you are still allowed to go out for a drive.
However, the NI Government advises you to “avoid all unnecessary travel.”
The situation changes daily and even by which part of Northern Ireland you live in so keep up to date with the latest government advice on the NI Direct website.
Will I be able to MOT my car in Northern Ireland?
Yes, you can book your MOT test online.
However, the DVA has recommended that Northern Ireland motorists book their MOT as soon as they get a postal reminder letter as the agency says it is “experiencing high demand due to a backlog as a result of Covid-19.”
How can I stay safe when visiting a fuel station?
Firstly, have a small bottle of hand sanitiser in your car, so it’s readily available when you need it.
Put on a face mask and top up your fuel as usual.
As soon as you’ve finished refuelling, use some of your hand sanitiser.
After paying for the fuel, apply an extra bit of sanitiser when you get back into your car.
Can I take my friends for a spin during COVID-19?
Current NI Government advice recommends that you should “avoid all unnecessary travel.”
The advice adds, “Where travel is necessary for work, education and other essential purposes, people are asked to walk, cycle or use private transport, shared only with members of their household where possible.”
Advice changes as we enter lockdowns, restrictions and geographical advice, so it’s best to again keep an eye on the NI Direct website for the latest updates.
Do I have to wear a face mask while I am driving?
No. Face coverings are currently only mandatory on public transport, in a taxi, private buses, coaches, trains and aircraft.
Should I deep clean my car to prevent the spread of COVID-19?
Yes. We have previously posted a handy guide on our website – How to safely disinfect your car and stay protected from COVID-19.
In the guide, we offer seven simple tips on how to protect yourself from COVID-19.
Can I still get my car serviced in Northern Ireland?
Yes, garages are deemed as ‘essential services’ in Northern Ireland and most remain open and available for you to get your car serviced.
Contact your garage first as they might have put in place specific safety arrangements for customers, such as time slots, one way systems and other COVID-19 preventions.
Keep up to date with all the latest COVID-19 advice here.
Keep up to date with all the Northern Ireland driving news, tips and tricks on the New Driver NI website.