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Gardening centres enter second season in lockdown

'We are reminding people that are thinking of visiting to think and plan with a purpose, not just for the sake of coming.'
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(stock photo)

The stay-at-home order took effect across Ontario Thursday in response to worsening COVID-19 trends. 

With limited stores allowed open, the gardening industry is stepping into its second season with continued lockdown orders.

A local nursery and garden centre says this time last year they weren't breathing, but they are breathing a bit easier this time.

"We need the people to know we cannot handle them all at the same time. We need to know we can handle the folks safely through seeing. We are reminding people that are thinking of visiting to think and plan with a purpose, not just for the sake of coming." said Perry Grobe, owner of Grobe Nursery and Garden Centre.

Last season, they operated with strict protocols in place. Grobe adds this year, they will be enforcing the same protocols and they will be enforced much tougher.

"There are sanitization stations; there are a limited amount of people allowed in. We are asking that they limit their purchases to things that are essential to them. We are minimizing the browsing that they will be doing for the sake of filling time. We are limiting the number of people to the door to two per family, and we are quite strict on that. It has to be that way."

Grobe adds that while protocols are stricter this time around, shoppers can access one particular thing, something they didn't have access to last year.

"It is better now that people have the opportunity to see what they want to purchase in a perishable item before they purchase it. They didn't have the chance to do this last year.

He adds they are hoping restrictions will be eased by May as that is the most crucial time for gardening businesses.

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