14th May 2020

Environment Retailers seek lockdown exit route ‘visibility’

Environment Retailers seek lockdown exit route ‘visibility’

Environment

environment Garden centres in England and Wales are set to reopenImage copyright
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Garden centres in England and Wales are set to reopen

The Scottish Retail Consortium has called for “visibility” of a route out of lockdown after signs garden centres will reopen in England and Wales.

The Welsh government will let them open from Monday with England to follow later in the week.

SRC director David Lonsdale said retailers in Scotland had shown they could operate “safely and responsibly”.

The Scottish government has said there could be a “different pace” in doing things between nations.

Centres are expected to reopen from Wednesday in England if they control the number of people inside so customers can keep two metres apart.

In-store cafes must also stay closed.

Environment Safe operation

Mr Lonsdale said businesses north of the border had already shown their willingness to adapt to such changes.

“Our members in pharmacy, grocery and pet food retailing have demonstrated during the coronavirus crisis their ability to operate safely and responsibly in this new environment, regardless of the size of premises,” he said.

“They’ve invested significantly over an incredibly short period in social distancing and other hygiene measures in order to protect staff and customers.”

He said they had used that experience and spoken to unions to provide the wider industry with “detailed guidance” to allow them to open once the government allowed them to trade again.

“Retailers are working hard behind the scenes to get ready to safely reopen and help get the economy moving again,” he said.

“What is needed now in Scotland is visibility on the route out of lockdown.”

The Scottish government has said that any situations where something might not be allowed in Scotland that was permitted in the rest of the UK would only arise if it was considered that it would save lives.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that anything people were being advised to do or not to do was “driven by the desire to protect people from this virus”.

She said if that meant some restrictions stayed in place a “little bit longer” in Scotland she hoped people would realise it was a price worth paying in order to avoid reversing any progress being made.

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