Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways.  News on this virus is changing on a daily basis and it’s important not to panic.

As ADIs we need to be sensible as we are in close contact with people in the vehicles we use. The best way to act is to be prepared and to talk to each client as they get in the car about what we need to consider and to let them know you are following NHS guidelines.

  • Use hand sanitiser in the car
  • Let clients know that between lessons you are wiping the steering wheel, indicators, washer stalk and light stalk, gear lever, handbrake, door handles, seat belt buckle and interior mirror
  • Don’t teach any clients if they have coughs or colds or a fever. Government advice is that anyone in this condition should be self-isolating for 7 days that includes ourselves
  • Keep up basic hand washing as regularly as possible and for at least 20 seconds in hot water when you have touched surfaces that others have had contact with. Ask clients to wash hands before they come out to the car and when they get back after a lesson
  • Bin tissues as soon as you can and cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when you cough or sneeze and not with your hands.

The NASP has also released some advice in regards to business:

  • Try not to panic. Easy to say we know but this is a time to set aside some time, sit down calmly with a clear head and look at your business. There will be a way through this if it becomes difficult, you are planning ahead and it hasn’t actually happened yet.
  • Look at your variable costs in the business you have control over, can any of those cost be cut back for a short time? For example; can you wash your own car instead of using a car wash? Take your own coffee rather than buy one from outlets during the day?
  • Do not stick your head in the sand, if you’re looking at bills coming in and you’re not going to be able to cover them then contact the companies concerned. Be proactive, businesses are all in this situation together and it is in the interest of everyone to work together. For example; can they help by extending the time you have to pay?
  • Can you cut back on your day to day living costs so you can pay yourself less for a short time? You know you best and know what you could cut back on if needs be.
  • Look into what help is available from government for the self-employed with regards to the Corona Virus and claim what your entitled to.
  • You might want to consider your terms and conditions and whether you are going to charge for cancellations.  This situation is exceptional and well outside the norm, one that no-one could have foreseen.  If you charge students for a missed lesson because they are coughing, or self-isolating you will possibly lose them afterwards.
  • You might want to consider sending all your students a text, email or message setting out your position.
  • Let your students know what precautions you are taking to protect their safety and your own, and what you expect of them.
  • Unfortunately this situation will get worse before it gets better, so our advice would be to immediately cut down on your outgoings.

The Driving Instructor Association has also released some guidelines and advice in regards to the virus, which you can find here.