The world is in the middle of a Coronavirus pandemic that has so far killed over 31,000 in the UK alone.
Around 600 people a day are currently dying from the virus in the UK, yet what is a topic on the minds of so many people? Garden Centres. This explainer takes a look at why garden centres could be considered more essential than other retail outlets, and why some are starting to reopen their doors.
Are Garden Centres open at the moment?
Generally, garden centres in the UK are currently closed due to the Coronavirus lockdown restrictions. Some are open for the collection of online ‘click and collect’ orders, while some have been offering deliveries.
Are Garden Centres reopening?
The UK remains in lockdown amid the Coronavirus pandemic. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce some very small changes to lockdown measures on Sunday, and these may look similar to those announced by the Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford on Friday.
It has been announced that garden centres in Wales will be allowed to reopen from next week as part of minor changes to their lockdown measures, which have been extended for another three weeks. It is not confirmed, but it could be imagined that the UK government may also announce the reopening of garden centres on Sunday, or if not, in the not too distant future.
What’s the big deal about garden centres?
Maybe not young people, but a lot of the population enjoy gardening and given the glorious weather right now, many would like to be able to spend some of their time in lockdown out in the garden caring for new plants.
Re-opening garden centres would help get some of the economy moving again and some have claimed their re-opening could bring potential health benefits, especially for older people.
Some have also claimed that there is a certain time-sensitivity to re-opening garden centres, with some plants needing particular attention at this time of year.
Would it be safe to re-open garden centres?
It would seem safer to re-open garden centres than some other retail outlets at this stage. Nurseries and garden centres tend to have large outdoor spaces, which would better allow for social distancing.
Re-opening garden centres wouldn’t, of course, be risk-free – one may expect large queues when centres re-open due to social distancing measures, and the extent to which they can be safe will partly depend on whether everybody follows the regulations.
How much support is there for re-opening garden centres?
There has been growing support in Westminster for the re-opening of garden centres and the topic of their reopening has been mentioned multiple times at PMQs recently.
Re-opening garden centres is also likely to be popular with voters, in particular those living in more rural constituencies.