DIDCOT, UK: The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) has issued this industry response to the reopening of garden centres in England from Wednesday 13 May:
HTA Chairman, James Barnes, said: “Following on from Friday’s announcement that garden centres in Wales can reopen, we welcome the news that centres in England will also be allowed to reopen from Wednesday.
“For garden centres who are reopening, it is essential that we proceed with the utmost caution. I am aware that many businesses have already begun to implement very robust policies around social distancing, but we now need everyone in the industry to download the HTA’s Safe Trading Guidance from our website. The Guidance provides specific protocols for garden centres and has been shared with government. You do not have to be an HTA member to access the document.
“In order to provide reassurance to members of the public, the HTA will be asking all their members and non-members listed on the plantsnearme.hta.org.uk website to indicate when they have reopened and that they are following the Safe Trading Guidance.
“The Guidance is there to help develop a thoughtful and considered approach to reopening, so we would encourage business owners to take their time to go through it, and to contact the HTA or their local authority if any aspect is unclear. And remember that you do not need to open on Wednesday – if you are not ready then you must wait until you are.”
Garden centres remain closed in Scotland. Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has stated that an announcement on the reopening of garden centres is anticipated for this coming weekend.