When are shopping malls opening in Ontario and what will be different?
Many are wondering when shopping malls in Ontario will be opening and what will be different about them when they do.
The Ontario government has so far said many retailers are allowed to reopen as part of Stage 1. Businesses must first meet the criteria set out by health officials for reopening workplaces, such as ensuring staff have adequate room to practice physical distancing.
In fact, one CF-owned mall in Ontario has already completely reopened — The Shops at Don Mills. Other malls under the CF banner have reopened stores that have street entrances while others are available for curbside pickup.
"The remainder of our shopping centre portfolio remains closed, with essential retailers and services such as pharmacies, grocery stores, banks and food services remaining open," it said.
Other malls like the Atrium on Bay, Galleria Mall, Gerrard Square and Pacific Mall have kept their essential businesses and services open as well, and have not issued reopening dates for other retailers.
Malls have been pretty good about updating shoppers on what's open and closed, mall hours and some of the precautions they've been preparing for when they welcome back the public.
One example is the West Edmonton Mall in Alberta which recently reopened. Directional signage, decals and hand sanitizing stations were added. It even has a cute mascot to help customers navigate the changes.
Visitors will be encouraged to wear a mask and can expect enhanced cleaning procedures, closing or modifying some amenities, security and personal protective equipment for staff.
Once more retailers inside of malls, and the malls themselves, are able to meet the criteria for reopening, that's likely when we'll be able to get some much needed retail therapy.
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