Ready to visit the mall? 8 safety protocols you should expect

Malls are reopening across the tri-state area with many safety protocols in place, including special HVAC systems that can filter COVID-19 particles from the air, and limits in capacity.

If you are planning on visiting a mall, these are eight safety protocols you should expect:

1. Enhanced sanitization and disinfecting with an emphasis on high-traffic locations such as dining areas, restrooms, escalators, stairs, directories, trash bins and door knobs.

2. Shopper safeguards that include making available protective masks, sanitizing wipes and temperature testing at entrances or property offices. Simon malls are also encouraging pre-visit health screenings to ensure shoppers stay home if they have exhibited COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms within 72 hours.

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3. Hand sanitizing stations will be deployed throughout the properties.

4. Signage promoting CDC guidelines for maintaining personal hygiene will be prominently displayed throughout the properties.

5. Employees will have to go through health screenings.

6. Employee safety protections including frequent hand-washing protocols, and offering personal protective equipment in addition to other CDC recommended practices.

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7. Promotion and enforcement of social distancing practices, including occupancy limitations, furniture and restroom spacing, closure of play areas and strollers, as well as coordinated traffic flow with traffic signage and distance markers.

8. Common seating areas, including at food courts, will be closed.
Below, see photos from the reopening of the Garden State Plaza mall in Paramus, New Jersey on June 29, 2020:

In addition to reopening, malls owned by Simon launched a national initiative to host food banks, clothing donations, COVID-19 mobile testing, and blood drives as part of an outreach to 1,300 health providers, government agencies and nonprofits.

"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," says Simon malls President John Rulli.