A government document has confirmed that garden centres in England will remain open during the third national lockdown, as long as strict social distancing measures are put in place.
In their latest guidance, the government said: "Other businesses and venues are permitted to stay open, following COVID-19 secure guidelines. Businesses providing essential goods and services can stay open. Essential retail such as food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres, building merchants and suppliers of building products and off-licences [can remain open]."
This news comes after the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced a third national lockdown to help curb the spread of COVID-19. From Tuesday 5th January at midnight, non-essential shops, pubs and restaurants will once again close. The measures will be reviewed during the week commencing 15th February.
The horticultural industry has been deeply affected by the lockdown restrictions. In fact, last year, the Horticultural Trade Association (HTA) announced that the virus outbreak could cost the UK gardening industry £200 million.
English gardener and broadcaster Alan Titchmarsh commented on the importance of keeping garden centres open. He said: "I urge the government to put in place a rescue package which will enable British horticulture to survive. Without it, our gardens and open spaces — a vital source of solace and nutrition to those at home — will suffer irreparable damage."
Tracey Crouch, Former Minister for Loneliness, previously told the BBC that keeping garden centres open would be beneficial to many. She said: "Gardening and wider horticulture is often used as a means of improving physical and mental wellbeing so it's unsurprising that, with the right measures in place and good hygiene controls, many would like to see nurseries re-open soon.
"It provides a small window of relief from all the bad news, which in itself is good for mental well-being."
JAN 5, 2021