The RHS has announced its plans to safely run the 2021 RHS Chelsea Flower Show, sponsored by M&G, with many new precautions due to coronavirus to protect everyone at the Show held at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea.
For the first time in its 108* year history the Show will run for 6 days in 2021, from Tuesday 18 May to Sunday 23 May. There will also be reduced visitor numbers compared to pre-Covid Shows across the increased number of days.
Tickets will go on sale at the end of October (RHS Members 26 October, Public 30 October), which will see 140,000 visitors at the show over six days, compared to 168,500 over five days in 2019.
The RHS has consulted on its plans and believes, with the measures it is implementing, that it can operate the primarily outdoor event safely for everyone.
Other Covid safety measures that the RHS is taking include:
- Socially Distanced Queuing
- Extra Parking/park and ride
- Crowd modelling and increased circulation and space changes to spread popular areas
- Enhanced cleaning and waste disposal
- Cashless transactions where possible
- Increased monitoring to ensure safe distancing amongst visitors
- Masks in indoor areas
- Flexible ticket exchange for ticket holder experiencing symptoms
- Track and trace check-in as per the guidance during show week
There will also be a reduction of closed seated restaurants. Restaurants will be made more open with spaced seating and table service.
The RHS has consulted with its’ Nursery Representative Group about the additional day and has written to all Nurseries today to start wider consultation on the impact and measures to support the Nurseries at the Show due to the extra day.
Sue Biggs, RHS Director General, said: “We plan our Shows 18 months in advance and have been planning and researching how to open the 2021 RHS Chelsea safely and securely for our visitors, partners and exhibitors since April this year. We have taken the time to get all our plans finalised and will now be consulting with exhibitors and supporting them further due to the changes we have had to make.
“As the world’s most famous gardening event, RHS Chelsea is vital for the horticultural industry, as well as having a huge impact on inspiring people to garden and grow, which is so important for everyone’s health and for the environment.
“Whilst we continue to live in uncertain times and May is a long way off, we believe these measures will mean we can safely run the Show, although we will of course be ready to react to any Government advice and if we sadly need to, will offer anyone who has booked a ticket a full refund.”
Helena Pettit, Director of RHS Shows and Gardens said: “We’ve consulted with the emergency services and all safety stakeholders involved with Chelsea Flower Show and everyone is confident in our plans and happy with the work we have done. Alongside the additional Covid Safety measures, in-ground daily numbers will be reduced and we are pleased to have been able to add an extra day.
“We are looking forward to working with our exhibitors and contractors to welcome visitors to the Show next year and bringing the world’s greatest gardening event back.”
The RHS will be announcing some of the 2021 content highlights for its RHS Shows at Malvern, Chelsea, Hampton and Tatton at the end of the month.