Minister for Transport Shane Ross has said that driving test centres will not be allowed to reopen early, with concerns surrounding what would be inevitable breaches of social distancing rules.
This means that the centres are highly unlikely to be open before August 10th, the date when Phase 5 of the Government's plan to reopen the country is provisionally set to get underway.
Speaking to RTÉ, Minister Ross said he could not intentionally allow a breach of social distancing rules to take place:
It is very difficult to see a situation where driving tests will be introduced early because of the difficulties in people sitting beside each other.
There is no way, in the average car, that you would have two people together without breaching social distancing guidelines.
I don't intend to allow a breach of that. There are sacrifices that we all have to make, and discomforts that we all have to endure.
Despite this, the minister admitted he does feel sympathy for the situation young drivers currently find themselves in, but those awaiting test will not be granted full licences without meeting the usual requirements:
That's a safety issue and it would be irresponsible for me to allow people who are on a provisional, and who haven't satisfied the requirements, to get a full licence to go on the road. I'm not going to do that.
I am going to continue the rules as they are at the moment so that lives can be saved.
I feel very sympathetic for the difficulties they are in. It would be wrong for them to drive when they are not qualified drivers because they might cause road deaths.