As a second UK lockdown begins, the HTA has issued a response to the new regulations, which allow garden centres to remain open, but cafes and non-essential concessions to close.
James Clark, HTA director of policy and communications, says: “Now that we have the Government regulations for this second period of lockdown we know for certain that concessions within garden centres must close, unless they are selling aquatic, pet or food items.
“It also makes it clear food and drink can only be sold as take-away and that it must be consumed off the premises.
“We support Government efforts to contain and eradicate Covid so that we can all get back to normal as soon as possible and are pleased that garden centres are listed as essential. Members have taken significant steps to implement first-class social distancing and other safe trading guidance, helping to boost customers’ confidence in visiting garden centres.
“There’s no doubt, however, that this further lockdown will impact our industry. 2020 has been incredibly difficult for the whole sector and while we’ve seen a strong bounce back from lockdown in March, it is still fragile.
“We will continue to remind Governments across the nations of the important socio-economic role our industry provides, along with how gardening, plants and green spaces help manage our mental and physical wellbeing. We know that our members will be doing their utmost to provide the excellent service and warm welcome people will be looking for as they prepare for the different festive period of 2020.”