Govt orders mandatory COVID-19 tests at driving schools

THE Transport ministry has ordered all staff at driving schools to undergo mandatory COVID-19 tests before they resume operations.The driving schools are among the many businesses that had closed down when the government imposed a national lockdown on March 30.

BY WINSTONE ANTONIO

In a document by the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development gleaned by NewsDay Weekender, driving school staff must be tested for COVID-19 within 14 days of reopening.
The driving schools must also be cleared and issued with a clearance certificate after satisfying the set health standards.

“The driving school staff must be tested for COVID-19 within 14 days of reopening in compliance with Statutory Instrument 102 of 2020 Public Health (COVID-19 Prevention, Containment and Treatment) (National Lockdown) (Amendment) Order, 2020 (No 7) and have their certificates available for inspection by Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe and other authorities mandated by the government of Zimbabwe,” part of the document read.

“The SOPs [standards operating procedures] are to facilitate safe training and licensing of learner drivers and to promote business continuity under the learner driver development value-chain while preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus from the sub-sector and to provide guidance on specific measures to be implemented to prevent the spread of the virus through training, testing and licensing.”

The document further states that the SOPs requirements for driving schools and learners drivers must meet at each stage of operation; COVID-19 testing of all staff, social distancing, disinfection of vehicles, hand sanitization, temperature screening, personal protective Equipment (PPE) and maintenance of a register.

“On social distancing, all members of staff and learner drivers should adhere to prescribed social distancing measures by ensuring that when driving school vehicle is operating, only the driving school instructor and the learner driver shall be in the vehicle while during classroom lessons, a minimum distance of two meters seats/ chairs shall be maintained within the learners licence class room for students undertaking lessons.”

The document also demanded disinfection of the vehicles and classrooms twice daily at 07:00hours and 13:00hours and should keep and produce evidence of the process.

Zimbabwe Driving Schools Owners Association (ZDSOA) president Onias Sanangure, who is also Ring Driving School proprietor, yesterday told NewsDay Weekender that as ZDSOA, they would be working in partnership with the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe for the inspection procedures before resuming operations.

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