'Florists are panicking' - Border chaos disrupts flower supply

Border chaos has affected the supply of flowers to the UK.

Border chaos has affected the supply of flowers to the UK. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A florist in Norwich has said panic is rising over flower stock due to border restrictions.

Travel and freight was banned from France to the UK to avoid importing a new variant of Covid-19.

As a result, concerns have been mounting about disruption to supply chains of food, drink and medicine to the UK.

On Tuesday, the French authorities announced the border would reopen -  but travellers must have a negative test result.

In the meantime, some florists in Norfolk have said the border chaos has left them working a day behind schedule.

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It comes after they have seen a rise in the number of orders over Christmas as relatives send flowers instead of visiting loved ones due to coronavirus restrictions.

Shelley Newton, owner of The Flower House in Costessey, said she had been "massively affected" by the shut border.

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She added: "Normally florists work a day ahead and now we have been working a day behind.

"Florists are panicking as they have all these orders to fulfil but the system is not working as it normally would.

"Everything has been up in the air and florists have had to take it day by day."

Ms Newton, who has been able to get stock thanks to the supplier, said she had many customers get in touch after being unable to buy flowers elsewhere.

Kevin Plumstead, owner of Elizabeths the Florists on Unthank Road, said he had lost about 200 new orders due to the travel ban.

Florist Kevin Plumstead at Elizabeth's in Unthank Road, Norwich. 

Florist Kevin Plumstead at Elizabeth's in Unthank Road, Norwich. - Credit: Bill Smith

He added: "It started yesterday, when our delivery ended up being 12 hours late, which has put us behind everything. 

"We just thought this is 2020 yet again, if you can't kill us one way, you will try another.

"Because of doubt, we haven't taken on some new orders. We've told customers to call us in the morning when we can be sure.

"We are OK though and can certainly fulfill all the orders that have been paid for."

Mr Plumstead said Christmas orders had doubled compared to year.

He added: "People are sending flowers to their family as they can't visit them this year."

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