Great Britain

Garden centre becomes first shop shut down after ignoring coronavirus lockdown rules

Plants Galore in Exeter, Devon, continued trading throughout this week, even after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a "lockdown" on Monday for all but essential businesses. The notice claimed the branch was "permitted the sale of garden plants, seeds, bulbs and other garden items". But the coronavirus prohibition notice, served by Exeter City Council, assisted by police, said the business has committed an offence under the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) Regulations 2020.

The notice, delivered to the garden centre on Friday by the Environmental Health and Community Safety Team, comes just a day after a pub in Liverpool became the first business to receive the same notice.

It said the garden centre must immediately cease opening to the public.

The store can continue to operate via electronic means, and function as a store for other permitted items.

Failure to abide by the requirements of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions England 2020) is an offence.

The move comes after Exeter City Council received complaints from members of the public.

plants galore

Plants Galore is to close amid coronavirus fears (Image: Devon Live)


The garden centre 'must immediately cease opening to the public' (Image: Getty)

Yesterday (Saturday), the store declined to comment on the prohibition notice.

But many Exeter residents took to Facebook to support the notice.

Jenny Kincaid wrote: "What ever made them think that plants were going to be essential.

"People making unnecessary journeys and then not being socially isolated, madness."

James Rice commented: "Absolutely perfect. Greedy and no respect for the health of the country."

And Steve Rupp jokingly added: "I need an emergency shrubbery! Muppets."

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