The Department For Transport (DfT) has announced the temporary removal of the D4 medical for truck and bus drivers.
Drivers have been unable to renew licences because they cannot make routine doctor’s appointments.
The DfT says that relaxing the rules, during the coronavirus pandemic, will 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.”
Under the scheme, drivers who have licences due to expire in 2020, will be able to receive a temporary one-year licence, providing they do not have any medical conditions that affect their driving. 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. It will only be valid for one year with drivers required to submit a completed D4 when their licence next falls due for renewal.