There has been some confusion caused as to when driving instructors can return to work and begin lessons, after a Northern Ireland MP posted a image which said that instructors could begin ‘lessons’ from July 6th only for that to be questioned by Infrastructure Minister
DUP’s Carla Lockhart, MP for Upper Bann, posted the image to her social media account appearing to confirm a return date.
But it appears that the issue of a return to work for Driving instructors wasn’t widely discussed by the Executive on Thursday as part of the recent easement of restrictions, according to Infrastructure Minister Nicola Mallon, speaking to Radio Ulster this morning.
When asked if driving instructors can return on July 6th, the Minister said:
“That wasn’t, I am being honest, it wasn’t discussed in detail yesterday.”
“I think people are viewing (that) close contact services does include driving instructors. I understand why but I think I am going to be in contact with my Executive colleagues today.
“I think we need to be clear and definitive if that is the case and what guidance we should be giving to driving instructures to keep them safe.”
The Infrastructures comment can be listened to below.
When contacted for comment about the image that was posted, MP Clara Lockhart said:
“I have clarified this with the Junior Minister and he assures me this graphic is accurate”
The image was widely shared by others political representatives including local Causeway Councillor John McAuley. Cllr McAuley.
MLA Claire Sugden also shared the news of driving instructors returning to work on July 6th, but has since addressed the confusion saying she has ‘written to the Minister this morning seeking urgent clarity’.
Continuing, Mrs Sugden wrote:
“Information was shared by members of the NI Executive and governing parties on social media yesterday evening that driving instructors (lessons only) could resume from 6 July 2020. I understand, however, the Infrastructure Minister disputed this claim on radio this morning.
“I am aware that driving instructors have begun preparations for 6 July so I will post a response as soon as possible. I’m sorry if this has caused you any issues.”
HOWEVER clarifying any confusion, East Londonderry MLA Maurice Bradley said:
“Driving Instructors CAN return to work on July 6, however, part Of the confusion seems to be around the Minister’s statement that test centres are not open.
“I took part in a Zoom Meeting with DUP colleagues this morning and the issue was raised by a colleague and the answer given by First Minister Arlene Foster was clear, ‘Driving Instructors can return to work on July 6’.”