Nine Massachusetts malls owned by Simon, the country's biggest mall owner, reopened on Wednesday after being closed for months due to the coronavirus lockdown.
Simon made the announcement on Wednesday as well, publishing a "COVID-19 Exposure Control Policy," which the property group said was developed with experts who work in epidemiology and environmental health and safety.
The properties that reopened are Burlington Mall, Copley Place, Liberty Tree Mall, Northshore Mall, The Shops at Chestnut Hill, Solomon Pond Mall, South Shore Plaza, Square One Mall and Wrentham Village Premium Outlets.
The opening of the properties comes a few days into Phase 2 of Gov. Charlie Baker's reopening plan. The phase, which began Monday, includes the reopening of retail stores, day camps, lodging, youth sports and outdoor seated dining
Many safety protocols are being taken to ensure the safety of both shoppers and employees, according to Simon officials.
Protective masks, hand sanitizing stations and temperature testing at entrances or property offices are among those protocols. Employees will also be screened to make sure they don't have symptoms of COVID-19 or the flu.
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"The health, safety and well-being of those we serve will always be our highest priority, and we have developed a thorough and detailed set of protocols highlighting the exceptional measures we’ve implemented to safeguard shoppers, retailers and employees as we reopen," John Rulli, president of Simon, said in a statement.
When Simon malls closed on March 19, more than 17,800 jobs were lost and $157.8 million of sales tax stopped. Simon officials say the reopening will help provide a local economic boost.
"We believe that reopening our properties will not only help people get back to work during these challenging times but also enable us to use our properties to further support charitable initiatives," Rulli said.