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Garden Centres Re-opening

Dear stakeholder,

We are writing to you as we understand you work in the horticultural sector. As you may already be aware, following the Government’s latest advice on controlling the coronavirus, we are pleased to confirm that garden centres will be able to reopen to the public from today (Wednesday 13 May).

All garden centres reopening should put in place social distancing, cleaning and protective measures for both staff and customers. In particular, they should ensure that people can stay 2m apart wherever possible, as is already the case in supermarkets and other shops which have remained open in recent weeks. Further detailed guidance for businesses has been published by BEIS.

To help garden centres put in place appropriate measures, the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) has also produced Safe Trading Guidance, closely aligned to the Government’s guidance and specifically for garden centres, which includes a series of recommendations to protect customers.

The guidance document has been based on insight from leading HTA retailers, the British Retail Consortium, and from government advice as a recommendation of best practice regarding social distancing. Recommendations include advice on customer numbers in stores, entrance and exit protocols, and queueing and checkout procedures. It also contains practical advice on how to protect the health and wellbeing of staff.

Further information regarding current guidelines can also be found via GOV.UK:

The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy:

Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can’t do:

Staying safe outside your home:

Staying alert and safe (social distancing):


Kind regards,

Defra Plant Health