Chelsea Flower Show visitors will require a negative Covid test, say RHS as they insist it will go ahead

Helena Horton
·2-min read
Chelsea Flower Show is scheduled for May -  REUTERS/Toby Melville
Chelsea Flower Show is scheduled for May - REUTERS/Toby Melville

Chelsea Flower Show visitors will require a negative Covid test, organisers have warned, as they insist the show will go ahead.

The event is planned to go ahead from Tuesday 18 May to Sunday 23 May, including an extra day at the end.

Chelsea is planned to be one of the first major events after the winter lockdown, with 140,000 people planned to attend the show over six days.

These numbers are reduced; there were 168,500 over five days in 2019.

Due to the lockdown, last year's show was cancelled, so most of this year's tickets have gone to those who paid to go in 2020.

The Royal Horticultural Society said that measures to keep the event Covid-safe will include regular testing of all gardeners and other pass holders during the build weeks, a negative test requirement for visitors, and social distancing around the site.

The RHS said: "Chelsea Flower Show will be the first of our major events in May and we wanted to be transparent and share some of the areas that are under consideration to enable us to operate safely:

"We are 100% committed to operating our shows. We will continue to engage with government and local authorities and remain agile in adapting and modifying our plans in line with any developing guidance to ensure we can deliver what will be a fantastic event.

"The team are acutely aware that there is great concern within the industry about whether our shows will operate in 2021. Given this we wanted to provide reassurance that we will refund any money that has been paid to us in the event that we are forced to cancel one of our shows. This remains a clause within our contracts for 2021 which are unchanged from last year.

"Whilst the Government has stated its ambition that the current COVID lockdown measures and ambitious vaccine targets means that by spring the UK will be in a much better position, we appreciate there will be a high level of ongoing concern. I hope this update provides some comfort that we are planning to run all our shows, are working hard on the solutions that will facilitate this, and we will act responsibly in all scenarios including should we be forced to cancel."