INDIANAPOLIS -- Simon Property Group has put an end to the rumors. The Indianapolis-based company says it will reopen 49 malls in ten states between this Friday and next Monday.
Ten of those malls are in Indiana, including seven in the Indianapolis-Lafayette-Bloomington area:
- Castleton Square Mall
- Circle Centre Mall
- College Mall in Bloomington
- Fashion Mall at Keystone
- Greenwood Park Mall
- Hamilton Town Center
- Tippecanoe Mall in Lafayette
Simon will open the Indiana malls on Saturday.
The company, which is the nation's biggest shopping mall owner, says new safety procedures in light of COVID-19 have been "reviewed and approved by experts in Epidemiology and Environmental Health and Safety."
Here are some of the new procedures:
- Employees, contractors and vendors will be required to screen themselves at home prior to coming to work. If they show signs of illness, they will have to stay home. Similar temperature testing and screenings will take place when arriving for work.
- Employees will wear face masks while at work and must frequently wash or sanitize their hands. They must stay at least six feet from fellow employees and shoppers whenever possible.
- Steps will be taken to encourage social distancing among shoppers, including restricting the number of people allowed in the mall if it becomes too crowded. Mall employees and security officers will remind shoppers about social distancing and not shopping in groups.
- Food court seating will be limited and spaced out.
- All play areas, stroller and valet stations and drinking fountains will be closed for now.
- Directional signage and floor decals will be used to encourage better traffic flow, including at entrances and throughout the common area.
- In restrooms, every other sink and urinal will be taped off.
- Directional signs and dividers will be used to separate shoppers entering and leaving the malls, as well as people at the food courts.
- Each night, mall common areas will be thoroughly sanitized and each retailer is expected to do the same in their stores.
- Business hours will be 11 a.m.-7 p.m, Monday-Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.
- Shoppers will be encouraged to take their temperature before coming to the mall.
- Shoppers are encouraged to wear masks or facial coverings while shopping and to frequently wash their hands at sanitizing stations located in the mall.