HTA updates lockdown advice for garden centres

The HTA has asked garden centres to respect the responsibility they have been given, as essential retailers, remaining open during the November Coronavirus lockdown.

James Clark, HTA Director of Policy and Communications, said: “Now that we have the Government regulations for this second period of lockdown we know for certain that concessions within garden centres must close, unless they are selling aquatic, pet or food items. 

“It also makes it clear food and drink can only be sold as take-away and that it must be consumed off the premises.”

Members have also been advised that Christmas grottos, ice rinks and other activities which are likely to cause crowding should not go ahead.

Chairman James Barnes said, “As an industry we need to respect the responsibility that we have been given.” 

“Our retail members might well see an increase in footfall on the back of this and it is essential to reinforce our responsibilities… on social distancing and to build on the really good examples of best practice out there on implementing protocols.”

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Flora,  14 Nov 2020:
...Bad idea for this time of year! As much as I want to see garden centres do well this is ridiculous. I could understand why we were opened early after the first lockdown as it was prime time and growers waste was terrible. However this time of year garden centre are only known for decorations and they are not essential. This also brings in a lot of people indoors into a small area. Problems with staying open 1. People have been told to only go out for the essentials, Christmas decorations are not essential. Places seem to be trying to claim they sell fuel and food but sweets and kindling hardly cut it. 2. The demographic that the garden centre mainly brings in are the elderly who are most at risk! 3. A worrying time for staff to be at work and putting their own health at risk and their families. This has creative a lot of anxiety. 4. The greatest lie of the year and tag line garden centres are playing on .... ‘Good for mental health!’ (certainly not the staffs as previously mentioned) gardening, I agree is great for your mental health, shopping however has been proven otherwise. You can do plenty in your garden without buying more.

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