Though Canadian health officials have urged the closures of bars and restaurants, as of now, shopping centres have not been advised to shutter.
Despite the temporary closures of hundreds of stores across Canada, many of which are inside malls, shopping malls across Canada remain open for the time being.
While federal and provincial health officials continue to urge Canadians to practice regular handwashing and avoid crowded places and non-essential gatherings, those who do choose to visit shopping malls still have the option to — however, business is not as usual.
Here Is how shopping malls around Canada are responding to the COVID-19 global health emergency.
Cadillac Fairview, the company behind popular shopping malls like Eaton Centre, Pacific Centre, Chinook Centre, and more, has made a number of changes in response to COVID-19. All shopping centres have new hours. Until March 30, operating hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (unless the regularly scheduled closing hour is earlier). After that date, the hours will be reevaluated.
The company has also made changes to its food courts, which are temporarily takeout only. All seating and dine-in wares have been eliminated. Enhanced cleaning is currently being implemented in common areas like washrooms, stairwells, elevators, lobbies, and employee common areas. Bathrooms have new signage that shares best practices for hand washing and more hand sanitizer stations have been placed around the centres. Events have been and reporting procedures have been put in place for mall tenants should any of their employees contract Coronavirus.
The popular North York mall has made similar changes to Cadillac Fairview in regards to cleaning. High traffic areas are getting extra attention and additional hand sanitizer stations have been placed throughout the mall. All restrooms have personal hygiene guidance and the mall has “emergency preparedness and communication plans with our local public health departments.”
In regards to hours, the mall will be open its regular hours of 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., however, some retailers will be operating on reduced hours of 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The mall’s operating hours will be reevaluated on March 30.
Bayview Village Shopping Centre has also opted to reduce its hours, which are Monday to Friday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday 12 to 5 p.m. However, there are a number of retailers that have different hours or have made the difficult decision to close altogether. As per Ontario Health, many of the shopping centre’s eateries have closed or are open for takeout only. All programming and events have been postponed until further notice. You can find more details on operating hours on bayviewvillageshops.com.
The owner of shopping centres like Outlet Collection at Niagara, Montreal Eaton Centre, Bayshore Shopping Centre, Vaughan Mills, and more will be running on reduced hours with hours varying per shopping centre and some stores closed or operated on individual hours. In addition, the shopping centres have implemented “filling of soap dispensers and antiseptic hand-gel dispensers at designated locations” and have increased the frequency of cleaning practices in common areas. The hours will be reevaluated at the end of the month.
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