Dobbies garden centres criticised for staying open

Dobbies Garden Centres has defended its decision to keep its stores open in the wake of the latest coronavirus guidelines.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the measures on Monday.

An unnamed member of staff, who works at the Orton Grange branch, near Carlisle, said: “We are not an essential service and staff are scared, yet we have to go in.”

In a statement, Dobbies said: “The latest Government guidance has stated food, home and hardware, and pet shops should continue to operate to provide essential goods.

“We are committed to serving the communities we operate in and will only be selling essential items from our foodhalls, home and hardware, and pet departments.

“Only a limited number of customers will be permitted in the store at any one time to help ensure everyone remains two metres apart.

“Staff will serve at alternate tills and will only take card or contactless payments.”

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