Garages permitted to remain open during latest lockdown

11th January 2021 | John – 6th January 2021

A new lockdown ordering people to ‘stay at home’ in England and Scotland is now in force but garages are permitted to remain open.

The latest government guidance for England states that “vehicle repair and MOT services” can remain open.

In Scotland, “car repair and MOT services including supply of parts” can continue to operate during the latest restrictions.

Wales remains at ‘alert level four’ and garages can remain open.

In a statement released this morning (Wednesday 6 January), the DVSA said: “MOT garages can remain open under the new national lockdown.

“To help ensure MOT testing can be conducted safely, you can read our guidance for MOT testers about operating safely during coronavirus.

“The government has issued guidance on wearing face coverings and guidance for people who work in or from vehicles, which is published on GOV.UK.”

England’s latest lockdown rules will remain in place until at least mid-February; Scotland’s current restrictions will be reviewed at the end of January.

MOT extension

Despite DVSA clarification that MOT testing stations can remain open, many garage owners now fear a possible reintroduction of another MOT extension, a move which saw many workshops forced to close during the first lockdown last year – despite being granted permission to remain open.

The extension ended on August 1, 2020, and from this date drivers had to ensure their cars have valid MOT certification, prompting significant demand on MOT services in recent weeks.

The rules allowed an extension to MOT expiry dates from the end of March 2020.

An extension was not granted for MOTs during the second lockdown and is unlikely to be granted for the latest national lockdown.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned the coming weeks would be the “hardest yet”.

His televised statement yesterday came after the UK reported a record 58,784 cases on Monday, as well as a further 407 deaths within 28 days of a positive test.

Announcing England’s lockdown, Mr Johnson said hospitals were under “more pressure from COVID than at any time since the start of the pandemic”.

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