Some of the urinals will apparently be taped off, but shoppers in 10 states should be able to return to 49 malls operated by Simon Property Group between Friday and Monday. Several media outlets have obtained an April 27 memo put out by the company and shared with retailers that explains what steps will be taken to safeguard Americans in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. The New York Times reports the memo was paired with 47 slides that gave "illustrative examples" of signage customers will see, maps of where hand sanitizer can be placed, and markings for the floor. Reusable trays will be gone from the food courts, security officers will actively discourage group shopping, and overhead announcements will emphasize shoppers' role in keeping the mall safe.
The target is to limit occupancy to one person for every 50 square feet, which will be verified in part by using what the company calls "traffic measurement technologies." And while Simon Property's employees, contractors, and vendors will have to wear masks and take their temperature, doing so is just recommended for shoppers. CNBC reports customers will be able to have their temperature taken via infrared thermometers, and free masks and packets of hand sanitizer will also be available upon request. What's still not clear: how many retailers will actually open their mall-based stores. The impacted states: Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. (Read more shopping mall stories.)