4th November 2020
The new coronavirus restrictions for England come into force on November 5 and antiques shops, centres, art galleries, auction houses and fairs and markets will have to close their premises to the public.
However, operating online and by phone, and having staff on premises for collection and deliveries will be allowed.
In a statement on November 3 the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) confirmed:
1. Auction houses may trade online and can operate via click and collect or delivery.
2. Where staff need to be present to handle auctioned goods, it is clear that this cannot be done from home and they will be permitted to attend work premises to fulfil those duties.
3. Arts and antiques markets are non-essential retail and will have to close whether indoors or outdoors.
It is being reported that many auction houses, such as the Mendip Auction Rooms, will continue to hold auctions as live online only with bidding via the internet, phone and commission.
Subject to the new guidelines, deliveries can still be made to the auction rooms and items may be left for valuation on a contactless basis in pods. Our valuers will then confirm values by email. Alternatively, we can undertake home visits and we can arrange collection of items through our partners, ARK.
Viewing of sales will be online only but our staff are content to provide a condition report and further images where requested ideally by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. During the lockdown we are offering free storage of items purchased.
We are grateful for the continued support of our customers and friends during these difficult times and we look forward to a return to normality with you being able to attend viewing and sale days.