Updated: Ontario re-opens garden centres to in-store visits
By Greta Chiu
Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced the re-opening of garden centres and nurseries for in-store purchases as of this Friday, May 8.
“So heading into Mother’s Day this weekend, please be sure to support your local garden centre and nursery and pick up some nice flowers for all the great mums out there,” he says in today’s COVID-19 update.
The public will be able to shop in stores as long as businesses follow strict public health measures to protect staff and customers, he adds.
“The same workplace safety requirements that apply to grocery stores and pharmacies will apply to these stores. Those include physical distancing, contactless payment options and sanitizing surfaces. They can also continue to offer curbside pick-up and delivery.”
Operating guidelines by Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Prevention Services can be found here
Non-essential retail businesses with street entrances will be allowed to offer curbside pick-up.
As Mother’s Day arrives this weekend, the decision to further ease restrictions on garden centres and nurseries was a welcome one to Flowers Canada (Ontario) Inc. (FCO), who says it’s the most critical sales period of the year for their members.
“I’m encouraged by the decision to open garden centres and hardware stores to the sale of flowers and plants. After the considerable sales losses in our sector this Easter, the second most important sales period of the year for flower growers, the thought of also losing Mother’s Day created a significant amount of anxiety in our sector. Flower producers across the province have been preparing for this critical sales period for months, and enabling sales now gives many family farms across the province hope for the future. Flower producers put a lot of energy and pride into producing a product that makes people happy and encourages positive mental health. It is a tremendous pleasure to know that our hard work will not be in vain, and our products will be able to create happiness for gardeners and plant buyers all over the province.” says Jan Van Zanten, President of FCO in a release.
“We all recognize and understand the incredible challenge our government has faced through this crisis, and all of our members know that they must be part of the solution. We know our members will do all in their power to protect the health and safety of their employees, their customers and of course their families,” says Andrew Morse, Executive Director of FCO.