Garden centres won’t open in time for May Bank Holiday after Dominic Raab said doing so could damage public health – The Sun


THE Government quashed hopes that garden centres will open in time for the May bank holiday.

The Sun’s legendary gardening editor Peter Seabrook called for the centres to reopen after losing his wife Margaret to coronavirus.

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But First Secretary of State Dominic Raab said opening them “would risk damage to the public health, our economy, and frankly the progress that we've made”.

Our gardening expert Peter told on Wednesday in The Sun how reopening gardening centres would help the nation heal from the crisis.

He said: “That is why I am imploring Prime Minister Boris Johnson to please, please, please make a special case and allow garden centres and retail nurseries to open this weekend.

“I ask in the interests of the physical and mental well-being of all of us as we continue to endure lockdown.”

But on Wednesday Mr Raab shut the door on the idea, and said: “I totally appreciate the value of garden centres and nurseries.

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“The current advice I've indicated from SAGE was that relaxing any of those measures, including the ones that he refers to would risk damage to the public health, our economy, and frankly the progress that we've made, the sacrifices, so many have made the, the lives that have been lost.”

He said that the science group SAGE will continue to keep the issue on “very close review.”

Tory MP Mark Pritchard asked Mr Raab if they would be allowed to reopen under the next phase of the lockdown.

Mr Raab replied: "I understand entirely why it's so important both economically, but also socially, particularly for certain members of our community … for whom it will be an important means of getting outdoors and getting out of the lockdown.

"SAGE has already considered it once, I know it will consider garden centres and nurseries again, and I know he will expect us to continue to be guided by the evidence.

"But he has made his point in a powerful way and it's certainly very firmly registered that this is an important area for us to look at for the future."

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