France entered a third national lockdown on April 3 but president Emmanuel Macron has given the green light for museums and other cultural businesses to reopen from May 19. Museums had been closed since October.
Fairs and markets with up to 5000 visitors can open from June 9. Auction houses had been able to trade through the recent lockdown (with restrictions in place). This situation had caused The Professional Committee of Art Gal ler ies (Le Comité Professionnel des Galeries d’Art), a gallery trade association which represents 310 art dealers, to sue the government for permission to continue to operate.
However, last month an administrative court ruled that galleries must remain closed throughout the country’s third lockdown (ending on May 19), even though auction houses were open.
In Ireland the government has announced a phased relaxation of its Covid-19 lockdown. The country has been at Level Five, its highest level, since Christmas. On May 10 click-and-collect retail can resume and from May 17 al l non-essential shops can reopen.
In Northern Ireland the reopening of indoor visitor and cultural attractions, such as museums and galleries, has been scheduled for May 24. Non-essential retail has been permitted to reopen since April 30.
Indoor fairs to return
In England, indoor fairs (with up to 1000 people or 50% of a venue’s capacity whichever is lower), museums and art galleries will reopen on May 17. Prime Minister Boris Johnson hopes restrictions on social contact will end from June 21. Among the first indoor fairs scheduled is The Buxton Decorative Antiques & Art Fair (pictured above) in Derbyshire on May 20-23 (see ATG No 2491) while fairs that have both indoor and outdoor elements will also proceed such as the Peterborough Festival of Antiques on May 21-22.
In Scotland, museums are already open (from April 26) but in Wales, museums are expecting to find out when they can reopen following the next lockdown review on May 10.