GARDEN centres are set to reopen tomorrow following updated guidance from the Government this week.

Dobbies Garden Centre in Warren Road, Brighton, formerly owned by Wyevale, will open with new social distancing measures in place and a queuing system, with a limited number of customers allowed in store at once.

Protective screens have been installed at tills and customers will be asked to pay by card where possible.

While the restaurant and soft play will remain temporarily closed, Dobbies will offer a takeaway menu including hot and cold drinks and snacks from Friday.

Graeme Jenkins, CEO of Dobbies, said: “We have taken care to ensure we are following guidance provided by the Government, British Retail Consortium and Horticultural Trade Association to reopen responsibly.

“Our team is well prepared, social distancing measures are in place and we look forward to welcoming customers back into our store in Brighton and across England.

“I would like to thank our team members and customers for their understanding during these uncertain times.”

Lewes Garden Centre and Crawley Garden Centre, both owned by British Garden Centres, are also due to open their doors again tomorrow.

The company has implemented similar safety measures, including a one-way system, screens at the tills and protective gear for staff.

In a statement on its website, the company said: “We would prefer you to shop in groups of a maximum of two but we understand this may not be possible due to care responsibilities for other family members.

“If you are visiting in a group of three or more please speak with the entry attendant on how we would like you to shop with us, i.e. only one of you going to the payment desk at the end of your visit.”

Tates of Sussex also announced today it will reopen stores tomorrow at 9am, including Mayberry Garden Centre in Portslade, Paradise Park Garden Centre in Newhaven, South Downs Nurseries in Hassocks and Old Barn Nurseries and Garden Centre in Horsham.

The company said Paradise Park attractions and restaurants at all centres will remain closed until further notice.

The reopening of centres is welcome news for residents who have been spending a lot more time in their gardens during the coronavirus lockdown.

It comes after Arundel MP Andrew Griffith said garden centres were “economically wilting with every day of the peak growing season that they remain closed”.

The Conservative MP called for garden centre stores to reopen under the first wave of modifications to the lockdown, and said they are important in relation to an “emerging mental health crisis”.