Mall operators want to ‘return to normal’ on July 1
Three weeks after opening their doors following the COVID-19 lockdown, shopping centers say the industry is ready to resume regular operations starting July 1.
In a statement, the Puerto Rico Shopping Centers Association said they want the governmentto allow them to go back to operating without limiting the customer traffic, open valet parking and the play areas, “all with strict safety and hygiene protocols to avoid contagion.”
The trade group that comprises the island’s 46 largest shopping centers said Father’s Day sales exceeded expectations, “although traffic wasn’t the usual, everything ran in an orderly manner and responsibly by tenants and visitors,” said Adolfo “Tito” González, president.
“We hope that in the next Executive Order the government will allow us to operate normally, as it has been demonstrated that shopping centers are an essential component in the life of the Puerto Rican,” added González, who is president of Empresas Caparra, parent company of San Patricio Plaza in Guaynabo.
Most malls reported close to 60% of normal traffic for this season, three weeks after its reopening, following a two-and-a-half month shutdown.
Shopping centers have been operating under contagion prevention measures, including requiring face masks, following establish foot traffic directions, social distancing in common areas and the use of hand sanitizer.
So far, none have reported incidents with people who do not want to follow the protocol, nor has any shopping center been associated with any of the recent outbreaks of coronavirus on the island, the trade group said.