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Vehicles in the UK are set to get temporary exemption from Ministry of Transportation (MOT) testing to enable the continued availability of vital services.

Cars, motorcycles and vans will be exempted for six months beginning 30 March 2020. This will permit people to get essential food and medicine during the pandemic outbreak.

MOT testing is also relaxed for people who cannot work from home.

Vehicles are to be maintained in roadworthy condition and can be prosecuted if found otherwise.

However, the Department for Transport advises against avoidable travel. People are allowed to leave homes only as per government guidance.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “We must ensure those on the frontline of helping the nation combat Covid-19 are able to do so.

“Allowing this temporary exemption from vehicle testing will enable vital services such as deliveries to continue, frontline workers to get to work, and people to get essential food and medicine. Safety is key, which is why garages will remain open for essential repair work.”

Following a consultation from key organisations, the tests are to be exempted from 30 March. This measure will be in effect for 12 months.

Until new regulations are in place, drivers are expected to get their vehicles tested in case of usage.

To facilitate the process for people in self-isolation, the Department for Transport is working with insurers and the police to control the situation.

Last week, Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) suspended annual driving tests for heavy  good vehicles in England, Scotland and Wales.