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Tiers will continue the legacy of the current lockdown in England from tomorrow, replacing national rules with regional ones. The new system may feel familiar for most Brits, as it is a remapped version of the pre-November measures. While the lowest tiers will give people back some freedoms, the highest will not change much, leaving some shops closed to the public.

Will garden centres open in Tier 3?

Tier three introduces the harshest possible measures in England.

People living in regions with these restrictions won’t have the same freedoms as those in the lowest.

Many of the top measures relate to shopping and socialising, notably around non-essential retail, bars and pubs.

Thankfully for garden centres, the Government has classed the business as essential.

Their status means they can remain open under any tier, as can other, similar stores.

The guidance for Tier three reads: “Essential retail such as food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres, hardware stores, building merchants and off-licences’ will remain open.”

Garden centres put their weight behind the Government’s plans as they prepare for 2021.

James Clark, Director of Policy and Communications for the Horticultural Trade Association (HTA), said the decision to keep them operating was “crucial”.

He said in a statement: “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.”

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“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.”

While people can still visit garden centres in Tier three, the rules will put curbs on socialising.

Government guidance states people must not “meet socially indoors or in most outdoor places”.

The guidance, posted to Gov.uk, states people must abide by the “rule of six” elsewhere.

The Government has also said indoor attractions at outdoor venues must close their doors under Tier three.

Restrictions include indoor attractions at the following venues:

  • Zoos, safari parks, and wildlife reserves
  • Aquariums, visitor attractions at farms, and other animal attractions
  • Model villages
  • Museums, galleries and sculpture parks
  • Botanical gardens, biomes or greenhouses
  • Theme parks, circuses, fairgrounds and funfairs
  • Visitor attractions at film studios, heritage sites such as castles and stately homes
  • Landmarks including observation decks and viewing platforms

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