I propose to take Questions Nos. 182 and 186 together.
Operational arrangements at driving test centres are a matter for the Road Safety Authority (RSA).
I understand from the RSA that prior to the COVID 19 pandemic some test centres across the country offered toilet facilities, and in some cases indoor waiting rooms, where instructors or other accompanying persons could choose to wait while students were out undergoing their test.
To be clear, some test centres around the country are very small and do not have, and have never had, facilities available for accompanying persons.
At present, toilet facilities at test centres are only available to the learner driver who is undertaking his or her driving test. There are no waiting area facilities available in any of the centres for either the learner or the instructor. The learner is contacted by phone while he or she is outside the centre and is then invited inside by the driver tester.
The decision to close public toilet and waiting facilities has been taken by the Road Safety Authority in the interests of public safety and as part of its overall Covid 19 Resumption of Services Protocols and in line with Health and Safety risk assessment procedures which had to be adopted as part of the RSA's resumption plans.
Allowing additional persons to enter the test centre would mean potentially doubling the number of attendees at any given time. The only way to do this without risk to public health would be to reduce the number of tests being provided. In a situation where the RSA is already working to reduced backlogs built up during the pandemic, this would not be in the public interest.