When will garden centres reopen? These are the latest updates as lockdown rules ease after Boris Johnson speech

In an address to the nation on Sunday 10 May Boris Johnson announced the easing of some of the lockdown regulations in England

Friday, 15th May 2020, 10:29 am
This is when garden centres will be opening across England (Photo: Shutterstock)

Johnson said that if the circumstances were right, schools and some shops would be able to open next month, with the government “actively encouraging” people to return to work if they cannot work from home.

But what did Johnson say about garden centres? This is what you need to know about whether garden centres will be reopening anytime soon.

Will garden centres reopen?

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Talking to the BBC, a senior government source said that garden centres in England will be allowed to reopen from Wednesday 13 May, as part of the early stages of easing coronavirus lockdown measures.

The source said: “Garden centres are typically large open-air spaces where the risk of transmission of coronavirus is lower.

“With strict social distancing measures in place we believe they can open safely from next week.”

Garden centre bosses will be expected to monitor the number of people inside their stores so that customers can keep two metres apart from one another - and in-store cafes will remain closed.

Similarly to DIY stores that have recently opened, it’s expected that garden centres will not allow cash payments from customers.

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What did Boris Johnson say in his speech?

In his Sunday address to the nation, Johnson said: “From this Wednesday (13 May), we want to encourage people to take more and even unlimited amounts of outdoor exercise.

“You can sit in the sun in your local park, you can drive to other destinations, you can even play sports, but only with members of your own household.”

He went on to explain that in step two of easing lockdown regulations, schools could begin to reopen their doors to pupils in phased stages.

Step three, which would be July at its earliest, could see some of the hospitality industry and other public places opening as well.

“I must stress again that all of this is conditional - it all depends on a series of big ifs. It depends on all of us - the entire country - to follow the advice, to observe social distancing,” he added.

His speech did not include any guidance on wearing face masks in public, but the UK government has since advised the people of England to wear face coverings on public transport and in some shops as well, starting from Wednesday 13 May.

This advice was published on Monday 11 May in a document from the government titled “Our Plan to Rebuild: The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy”.

Are garden centres opening elsewhere in the UK?

First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, announced that the current stay at home advice has not changed, but stated that people are allowed more outdoor exercise and that garden centres will also be reopening from Monday 11 May.

Drakeford said that garden centres will be able to reopen as long as they are able to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

In Scotland however, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said that most lockdown rules will be staying in place, with the only change being that you can now do unlimited outdoor exercise.

Garden centres in Scotland will therefore remain closed.

Sturgeon said that tighter restrictions were a “price worth paying for” to save lives as the pandemic continues.

Full list of Dobbies stores reopening

The Dobbies website states: “Following updated guidance from the Government, selected stores in England and Wales will re-open with strict social distancing measures.”

This is the full list of stores that are reopening following Boris Johnson easing lockdown measures:

Altrincham

Andover

Ashford

Atherstone

Aylesbury

Beaconsfield

Birtley

Brighton

Bury St Edmonds

Cadnam

Carlisle

Chesterfield

Cirencester

Derby

Gailey

Galton

Gillingham

Gloucester

Gosforth

Hare Hatch

Harlestone Heath

Havant

Hungerford

Huntingdon

Keston

Kings Lynn

Leicester

Lelant

Liverpool

Marple

Milton Keynes

Moreton Park

Morpeth

Northampton

Pennine

Peterborough

Ponteland

Preston

Reading

Royston

Rugby

Shenstone

Shepton

Shrewsbury

Southport

Stapleton

Stockton

Stratford upon Avon

Swansea

Swindon

Telford

Thornbury

Woodbridge

York