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Auction houses will be allowed to re-open their doors to the public from June 15. What does this mean in practice? Well, I think above and beyond anything else, we must all use our common sense, especially if we are to avoid the feared second wave of the pandemic.

I think we can take inspiration from the way that supermarkets and others who have stayed open have been operating. It also means being careful with the way paperwork is handled, payments are processed from those bidding in the room when that goes ahead and, for our part, ensuring the health and safety of our staff.

However well we plan for this, doubtless unforeseen elements will arise to challenge us in what is, after all, an unprecedented and complex situation. So we will tread carefully. Patience will be key to everything we do, whether as service providers or on the part of those wishing to come and view items in person. For all the finger pointing and disgruntlement on social media with what has been going on and how the authorities have handled it, I have been supremely impressed with the forbearance and consideration of the public in general.

We will be doing our best to make sure everyone is safe and that a visit to our Fernhurst rooms is as enjoyable and rewarding an experience as it can be. And we will continue to provide the full live bidding offer online too. Around the country you will find other salerooms seeking to do the same. This business is here to stay.