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  • Belgium reopens garden centres as restrictions ease

    Belgium has become the latest European nation to lift some of the restrictions designed to stop the spread of coronavirus.

     
    Garden Centres opened their doors for the first time in a month. At one big garden centre in the capital of Belgium, Brussels, people were queuing from when the doors opened.
     
    One man coming to buy items for his garden said: “It’s good that people can have some things to do at home, whether it is in the garden or doing some construction work.
     
    “It will be good to keep the spirits up and make sure people can control the next few weeks if necessary at home.”
     
    A woman wearing a mask while buying building supplies with her elderly father said: “If the right measures are taken there are no differences going to buy some food or some of this other stuff. After all, people have to make themselves busy.”
     
    There seemed to be a sense of relief amongst people that they could shop to find something constructive to do while the limits on social movement and contact continue.
     
    And there was a sense of relief too for the staff at the Brico store, who have been off work for weeks.
     
    Store manager Olivier Moulan said: “Some of our employees are happy to be back at work as they were put on unemployment benefits when the shops were forced to close.”
     
    He said staff had been reassured it would be safe to work. Social distancing would be enforced and only 20 people allowed in at a time.
     
    I feel safe and having had a conversation with my staff this morning, they also will be as long as they continue to follow the measures we’ve brought in.”
     
    The sense of relief of staff and shoppers is likely to be shared in Germany on Monday when smaller non-essential shops up to 800 square metres will be allowed to start trading again.

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