With shopping such an important part of group travel programs, tour organizers are pleased with the news of shopping mall reopenings and protocols to keep their clients safe
Shopping malls across the country have reopened after COVID-imposed lockdowns in many states. New safety protocols are been put in place to make shoppers confident in returning to their favorite stores and restaurants.
Here is a sampling of group-friendly malls that are welcoming back customers and what they are doing to keep their guests and employees safe:
At the open-air Outlets at Tejon, more than 90 percent of stores have reopened. There is constant maintenance of restrooms and other common areas, and hand-sanitizing stations have been installed in public areas.
Additional signage reminds everyone of suggested COVID-19 safety precautions such as social distancing and wearing masks. According to a state mandate, all guests over two years old and employees (with a few medical exceptions) must wear a mask or face covering. All kiddie rides, Camp Tejon and the food court are temporarily closed as a safety precaution.
Mall hours have been adjusted. New operating hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 12-6 p.m. Sunday.
The number of customers allowed in stores is based on square footage and the limits set by the respective retailer’s corporate office.
In restrooms, urinals and sinks are taped off to create distance between guests in order to continue social distancing practices.
Adjacent to Tejon Ranch, the Outlets at Tejon is located off I-5 between Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Besides required face masks, protocols at The Bloc in downtown Los Angeles include practice social distancing while waiting for elevators, and the number of riders in each elevator is limited to no more than three at a time. Signage in the elevators requests adherence with this policy.
In addition, high-traffic touch points are wiped down frequently by janitorial staff using disinfectant wipes and sprays. Hand sanitizer stations are located at the Concierge Desk outside Macy’s, and individual sanitizers and disposable masks can be obtained there. Social distancing guidelines are in place in all shopping mall common area seating.
NEW ENGLAND & FLORIDA
Groups touring New England will be glad to know that Faneuil Hall Marketplace/Quincy Market, located in the historic heart of Boston, is open for business, with new safety measures in place. For example, all touch points and restrooms are disinfected hourly, and directional markers assist with social distancing. Boston’s central meeting place, the market has more than 100 shops and pushcarts. A diverse array of ethnic foods is available in the Quincy Market Food Colonnade, the largest international food hall in New England.
Also open is Old Town Kissimmee/Orlando, an 18-acre entertainment district with over 70 shops and restaurants. The Old Town Ferris Wheel and other rides are also open to enjoy. The popular Friday and Saturday car shows also are back. Restaurants now welcome guests with an indoor capacity of 50 percent. Several dining locations offer outdoor seating with tables at least six feet apart. Osceola County requires wearing face masks in all indoor facilities.
Among other safety measures at Old Town:
- High-touch areas are continuously cleaned and disinfected.
- Hand sanitizing stations have been placed throughout the property.
- Restrooms have been modified to ensure social distancing guidelines are followed.
- Employees must wear masks while working and will take breaks to frequently wash hands as well as utilize hand sanitation stations.