Reacting to the news today that lockdown restrictions will be implemented according to three tiers of restrictions, HTA Director of Policy and Communications, James Clark, said: “Like the rest of British business and society, our members are keen to see an end to this pandemic and the huge strain it is taking upon the nation’s health, welfare and economic future. We broadly support proposals to introduce consistent restrictions through a tiering system which will make it easier to understand and communicate the restrictions to member businesses.   

“We welcome the clarity that garden centres will remain open even in the very high category, which is a recognition of the safe trading practices that garden centres have put in place. Keeping garden centres open is crucial - grower planting regimes are year-round business planning operations and need confidence of a route to market. They are planning for the 2021 season now as retailers are placing pre-orders with growers. 

Safe trading social distancing measures have also been put in place in garden centre catering. There should be a more targeted approach to what hospitality premises should be closed, including how restrictions on social mixing will operate. Garden centre catering is key to the industry to ensure a year-round benefit, with garden centres able to invest back into their businesses. “

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