A Winnipeg greenhouse and gardening centre says it's temporarily closing ahead one of the busiest weekends of the year, because some customers have been abusing staff over physical distancing rules. In a note posted to its website, Sage Garden said
it will be closed until it can open its outdoor shopping spaces on Saturday, May 23.
"This is out of concern for the well-being of our staff who have faced disrespectful behaviour from some visitors unhappy with our distancing and other COVID-19 precautions, and our need to ensure the safety of everyone on-site," a statement on its website reads.
The garden centre has been open to customers for a week, with rules in place such as allowing only one person per car into the garden centre, and limiting the number of visitors allowed inside.
Like other Manitoba businesses, it is required by a public health order to ensure customers can keep at least two metres apart at all times.
Before it reopened, the garden centre reorganized its entire setup so that it could allow people to spread out more, said owner Dave Hanson.
Still, he says staff have been yelled at and even touched by visitors who don't like the changes.
"I think that what we realized is that it's not fair to our staff to have them become sort of … security officers or something like that, when we're trying to manage these kinds of behaviours from people," he said.