Shoppers, rejoice! Buckhead’s Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza malls have reopened.
After being closed since March 19 due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the two shopping centers owned by Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group reopened May 4.
Three other Simon-owned malls – Town Center in Cobb County and Sugarloaf Mills and Mall of Georgia in Gwinnett County – also opened May 4. Simon’s Calhoun Outlet Marketplace in Calhoun and North Georgia Premium Outlets in Dawsonville are also expected to reopen this week.
Simon was originally going to reopen all seven of its Georgia malls May 1, but the day before, a company spokeswoman said the reopening and Lenox media event had been postponed until May 4 “in conjunction with the department stores” reopening that day. The media event rescheduled for May 4 was cancelled but Simon addressed the reopening in a news release emailed to the media that day.
The reopening comes after the federal and state governments lifted restrictions on businesses that had to close due to the outbreak. Simon had closed all of its U.S. retail properties March 19 due to the pandemic. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s statewide shelter-in-place order went through April 30, but on that day, he announced in a news release the order would not be extended.
While some residents have said the malls are reopening too soon, others disagreed. About 20 shoppers waited in line at Lenox’s main entrance May 4 at 10:30 a.m., 30 minutes before it opened.
According to , which broke the news of Simon reopening its malls, “Business hours at the malls and outlet centers will be limited to 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, to allow for cleaning overnight, according to the memo. Simon said it will regularly sanitize high-touch areas such as food court tables, escalators, door knobs and electronic directories. And it is encouraging retailers to do the same in their stores.”
In a news release, Simon President John Rulli said health and safety are paramount in the company’s reopening plan.
“The health, safety and well-being of those we serve will always be our highest priority, and we have developed a thorough and detailed set of protocols highlighting the exceptional measures we’ve implemented to safeguard shoppers, retailers and employees as we reopen,” Rulli said. “We also recognize that individuals and families in our communities are suffering significant hardship as a result of both COVID-19 and the economic shutdown.
“And we believe that reopening our properties will not only help people get back to work during these challenging times, but also enable us to use our properties to further support charitable initiatives."
Shopper safeguards in place include making available protective masks, sanitizing wipes and temperature testing at entrances or property offices, as well as the encouragement of pre-visit health screenings to ensure shoppers stay 金殿国际棋牌 if they have exhibited COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms within 72 hours. Simon malls are also adding hand-sanitizing stations and signage promoting CDC guidelines for maintaining personal hygiene.
Employees will be required to undergo preemptive health screenings to ensure they do not arrive at work within 72 hours of exhibiting COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms. Workers also must frequently wash their hands and will be offered personal protective equipment in addition to other CDC-recommended practices.
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