The Department For Transport (DfT) has announced the temporary removal of the routine D4 medical for truck and bus drivers.
Commercial Fleet had been contacted by drivers concerned they were unable to renew licences that were due to expire, because they were unable to get a doctor’s appointment.
The DfT says that by relaxing the rules, because of the coronavirus pandemic, will now keep 30,000 drivers on the road each month.
The temporary change will also relieve pressure on NHS staff who are working hard on the frontline to tackle coronavirus and help parts of the emergency services to deliver their critical role, it said.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps explained: “With our NHS staff working around the clock to combat coronavirus, we are determined to help vital bus and lorry drivers support our incredible industry and keep Britain moving.
“By temporarily relaxing the requirement to provide a doctor’s medical report as part of the bus and lorry driving licence renewal process we will ensure that those who are fit to drive can continue delivering critical goods around the country and getting workers to the front line.
“This will also help to ensure doctors and nurses can continue their crucial efforts to fight coronavirus.”
Under the scheme, drivers will be able to receive a temporary one-year licence, providing they do not have any medical conditions that affect their driving and their current licence expires in 2020.
Drivers with health issues will still need to declare these, and those with health issues that prevent them from driving safely will not have their licence renewed.
This temporary change will only apply to those drivers whose licences are due to expire or have expired since January 1, 2020.
The licence will only be valid for one year and then the driver will need to submit a completed D4 when the licence is next due for renewal.