The DfT have today (20 April 2020) published the following for information regarding taxi and private hire vehicles/licensing:
Group 2 / D4 medical updates
The Department for Transport is aware of the current difficulties in obtaining medical examination reports, such as the D4 medical report used for the Group 2 HGV and bus driver entitlements that many taxi and private hire vehicle licensing authorities base their assessments on.
While it remains a matter for licensing authorities whether to issue or renew a taxi or private hire vehicle driver licence, the Government is making temporary provisions for bus and lorry drivers aged 45 and over to forego the need for a D4 medical in order to renew their driving entitlement. These changes are temporary and will only apply where the driver does not have any existing notifiable health conditions, and their licence has not expired before 1 January 2020.
More information is available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/dvla-coronavirus-covid-19-update#bus-and-lorry-drivers--d4-medical-updates
Relicensing of vehicles (taxi and PHV)
Licensing authorities should consider ways in which they can use their existing powers to support the trade to continue to operate and provide essential travel. Where licensing authorities are unable to undertake inspections of vehicles to issue a certificate of compliance, they should consider whether their taxi and PHV licensing polices can be amended to accept a recent MOT certificate prior to the renewal a vehicle or proprietor licence.
It is important to note that any certificate of compliance issued by a licensing authority ceases to be valid for MOT purposes once the vehicle or proprietors licence expires or is revoked; the owners of any vehicles that continue to be used on the road after revocation or expiry must consider whether they need to obtain an MOT certificate in order to do so lawfully.
Drivers are responsible for making sure their vehicle is always safe to drive, a vehicle can be unsafe even if it has a valid MOT certificate or certificate of compliance. Drivers should be aware of their legal obligations; more information is available at: https://www.gov.uk/legal-obligations-drivers-riders
Gov.UK Update Service
The Communication from the DfT strongly recommends signing-up to the update service to receive emails when information changes on GOV.UK about COVID-19. Subscription link: https://www.gov.uk/email-signup?link=/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response