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COVID Direction Order successful as Whitehall Garden Centre makes necessary improvements

Published 7 December 2020
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Wiltshire Council has successfully implemented a COVID Direction Order after it required a local business to make a number of improvements to ensure it can operate safely and protect public health.
Whitehall Garden Centre in Lacock was issued with a COVID Direction Order and had to take actions to comply with restrictions to help prevent COVID-19 transmissions within the county. 
The centre took necessary steps to improve their systems to achieve the public health requirement and manage the risk to Wiltshire residents by ensuring appropriate measures were in place. 

The centre was issued with the directions, issued under the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No.3) Regulations 2020 on Monday 30 November.  This directed the management of the garden centre to comply with a number of directions, including review car parking arrangements, implement more measures to ensure customers can visit in a COVID secure way such as an improved queuing system, floor markings and one-way system; increase staff training and much more careful monitoring of customer numbers on the premises. 
The necessary measures have now been implemented by the centre so the order was lifted at 8am today (7 December)
Wiltshire Council has been working closely with the garden centre's management team to support them to ensure they are operating safely to protect both their staff and customers. The centre has put in a range of measures and the directions order has been withdrawn but the expectation is the measures requested are maintained.
Terence Herbert, Chief Executive of Wiltshire Council, said: "I am pleased this enforcement action by Wiltshire Council has been successful and Whitehall Garden Centre has now made a number of improvements and we are now able to withdraw the order. The garden centre is very popular at this time of year and we are pleased the measures were taken on board. The expectation is the centre will continue to operate safely so people can enjoy their visit. 
"Our public health and public protection teams are working in partnership with Wiltshire Police and other local partners. This is a timely reminder to all businesses the regulations are there and we are willing to use them where it is necessary to help prevent COVID-19 transmissions. 

"We would remind people to be sensible during these times and to stay away from crowded areas and to remember to socially distance, wear a face covering where appropriate and wash hands regularly as this will help to prevent the spread of the virus.
Detective Superintendent Chris Hanson said: "Firstly, we would like to thank the owners at Whitehall Garden Centre for working with our Local Authority partners and taking the necessary steps to achieve the public health requirement by ensuring appropriate measures were put into place and thereby managing the potential risk.

"We will continue to work closely with our partners and local businesses to provide guidance and support in these difficult times. 

"It is always important to remember that these powers are in place to protect public health and to minimise the spread of COVID.

"Finally, we would like to thank the vast majority of our businesses and members of our community who are adhering to the current restrictions in place to minimise the risk of transmission of the virus and save lives."

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