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Garden Centres to Reopen

Boris Johnson is set to announce the reopening of garden centres from this coming Wednesday. In a speech to the country tomorrow, the Prime Minister will outline the changes to the UK's lockdown, including a relaxation in the rules requiring gardening centres to remain closed. The change will come after a similar announcement from Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford who has said that garden centres in Wales will be able to open their doors from Monday 11th May.

The decision to enforce mandatory closures on garden centres for the past seven weeks, while allowing DIY stores and supermarkets to sell plants and sundries, has been controversial and widely criticised. Industry leaders and gardening celebrities such as Alan Tichmarsh and Peter Seabrook have been placing pressure on the government to relax the rules for several weeks. Questions have also been raised on why outdoor plant areas could not have been reopened in light of the low risk of virus transmission.

Once reopened, garden centres will be required to strictly adhere to social distancing rules, similar to those applied in supermarkets and other 'essential' shops. Customers are likely to see limits on entry, one way systems and signs reminding them to stay at least 2 meters from other customers and staff. Spring is the busiest time of year for the garden centre industry and there are likely to be significant queues due to the greatly reduced capacity.

Throughout the lockdown, Sun Gardening and garden.help have been championing independent growers and nurseries, many of which will have faced significant financial difficulties thanks to this crisis. To support the industry, please consider buying something from one or more of the businesses on our nurseries list.

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This story was published on: 09/05/2020

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