One of the malls that’s getting ready to open in the midst of the provincial government’s first stage of the COVID-19 relaunch strategy includes Park Place Mall in Lethbridge.
Pat Carroll, a local resident who own a games store inside the mall called Games Galore said he was busy with preparations Wednesday afternoon.
“We have installed, as you can see, our plastic separation on our cash counter here, we’re taping up the floor for distance control,” Carroll said.
“We have our hand-sanitation station that will be available at the front door, and hand sanitizer wipes that will be available at the front counter, we’re offering the use of gloves.”
Carroll says they will be following regulations on capacity set by the Alberta government by only allowing 10 to 15 people into the store at a time.
He says this is an additional thing businesses will have to now monitor.
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“You cannot have a police officer, or a peace officer… telling somebody to go into the opposite direction,” Carroll said.
“It’s a self-controlling thing. We’ll be as polite as possible, but we cannot jeopardize our opening.”
Park Place Mall says it will be implementing the following changes and regulations in order to provide the safest environment possible as the pandemic continues:
-reduced hours (Saturday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday 12 to 5 p.m.)
-hand sanitizer stations throughout the mall
-signage and visual reminders about physical distancing
-removal of common area seating
-suspension of lending equipment including strollers, walkers, scooters and wheelchairs
– installation of personal protective barriers
– food court capacity has been reduced by 50 per cent
-level of security will be maintained (enforcing physical distancing measures as well now)
Although, the general manager of Park Place Mall, Kevin Bees says not all of the stores inside the mall have been closed during the pandemic.
Eight stores considered “essential,” such Staples and Shoppers Drug Mart remained open to serve patrons.
Bees adds that out of the 100 stores in the mall, only a quarter of them will be reopening as Stage 1 kicks off.
“We’re actively working with our tenants to get a better understanding of how many will be opening,” Bees said.
It is up to each store’s head office to decide when they will reopen, and just because they can, does not necessarily mean they will.
According to the general manager, the mall will not force any of its tenants to reopen.
Bees says the mall wants to partner with them above all and provide any supports needed.
Once a store has the required personal protective equipment the need, and it feels comfortable reopening, it’s simply an option that is available now.
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