Small and mid-size galleries and auction houses in the United Kingdom will be allowed to reopen as early as June 1st as part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan to relax lockdown measures. The plan, which was shared on Monday, does not specifically include galleries and auction houses in its plan to reopen “non-essential retail” enterprises, but a report in The Art Newspaper
stated that U.K.-based art trade organizations received federal confirmation that those institutions would fall under the category.
The June 1st open date will be the second phase of Johnson’s plan to reopen; the first phase, which allows non-customer-facing employees to return to their positions, went into effect today. While small and mid-size art venues will be allowed to operate with newly-implemented social distancing guidelines, larger cultural institutions such as museums will not be allowed to open until phase three of Johnson’s plan, which is currently slated to go into effect July 4th.
British Art Market Federation chairman Anthony Browne told The Art Newspaper: