Garden centres in Wales to close from Christmas - indefinitely

Non essential retailers in Wales, this currently includes garden centres, will close from end of trading on Christmas Eve, indefinitely, as Wales prepares for a third full lockdown.

The situation will be reviewed every 3 weeks. Economy Minister of Wales Ken Skates told the BBC, “We're asking businesses, we're asking citizens to put off some of the activities that they would normally undertake just after Christmas until, hopefully, later in January or perhaps a little later after that depending on the three-week review,"

Garden centres in Wales reopened on 9th November after the 17-day firebreak closure. Now they look set to close their doors again from Christmas. The Welsh First Minister has decreed that non-essential shops in Wales will close from the end of trading on Christmas Eve, with an alert level four lockdown starting four days later.

Unlike England and Scotland where garden centres were classified as essential retailers during the last lockdown, the Welsh Government’s  current Health Protection legislation published in October includes garden centres in the list of businesses or services whose premises must be closed, during Tier 4 restrictions. See list below.

No evidence that garden centres are covid transmission risks

The HTA has written to the Welsh Government, saying there is no evidence whatsoever that garden centres are covid transmission risks. “We want to understand how the Welsh government has come to a conclusion so different to the rest of the UK - even in the highest tiers in England and Scotland, garden centres are able to trade safely.

“Action is required to prevent any further increase in coronavirus cases in Wales, but we believe that garden centres should be able to stay open. Including garden centres for closure fails to recognise the contribution they make to improving people’s mental and physical wellbeing.

The Welsh Government list of businesses or services whose premises must be closed during Tier 4

1.  Any business selling goods or services for sale or hire in a shop, including—

(a) homeware stores;
(b) nail and beauty salons;
(c) establishments providing tanning services, massage services, body piercings, tattooing, electrolysis or acupuncture;
(d) auction houses;
(e) car dealerships;
(f) markets;
(g) betting shops;
(h) hair salons and barbers;
(i) garden centres and plant nurseries.

2.  Shopping centres and shopping arcades.
3.  Cinemas.
4.  Theatres.

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