Dobbies Garden Centres is to reopen 54 English stores on Wednesday 13 May, in response to the government’s updated lockdown guidance.
The company will join thousands of English garden centres and nurseries across the country, which are now set to reopen following the new advice issued by the government on Sunday 10 May.
In Wales, Dobbies’ Swansea branch was the first to reopen, on 11 May. However all of the company’s 13 Scottish stores will remain closed for the foreseeable future.
Will the Dobbies restaurants reopen?
At the moment, only the garden centres will reopen, meaning the company’s adjoined restaurants - as well as the children’s soft play areas - will remain closed until further notice from the government.
However, peckish visitors looking for hot and cold drinks, sandwiches or bakery items can always order from Dobbies takeaway menu from Friday 15 May.
Will there be any safety measures in place?
To enforce social distancing, a queuing system (similar to those seen at supermarkets) will be introduced outside Dobbies stores, with floor markings indicating the length of two metres.
In addition to this, the garden centres will only allow a limited number of customers inside at one time, while trolley cleaning and hand sanitising stations will be introduced to all store entrances.
To protect the staff, the stores have added protective screens at checkouts, and customers will be advised to pay using contactless payment methods, if possible.
On top of this, the stores will be cleaned rigorously each day, to maintain good hygiene standards.
Chief executive Graeme Jenkins said, “We have taken care to ensure we are following guidance provided by the Government, British Retail Consortium and Horticultural Trade Association to reopen responsibly.
“Our team is well prepared, social distancing measures are in place and we look forward to welcoming customers back into our stores across England.
“I would like to thank our team members and customers for their understanding during these uncertain times.”
These are all of the Dobbies stores set to reopen:
Bury St Edmunds
Stratford upon Avon