By Lenore Fedow
Mall owner Simon Property Group will reopen 49 locations in 10 states in May, according to a CNBC report.
New York—Simon Property Group will reopen some of its malls and outlet centers later this week, according to a CNBC report.

An internal memo obtained by CNBC stated 49 locations in 10 states would be reopened between May 1 and 4.

The company did not respond to requests for comment on the memo from CNBC or National Jeweler.

The mall owner announced March 18 it would temporarily close all its locations to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

The company furloughed 30 percent of its workforce that same month and reduced the salaries of upper-level management by up to 30 percent.

Simon Property Group CEO David Simon is a member of one of President Donald Trump’s “Great American Economic Revival Industry Groups,” joining leaders from various industries to navigate the reopening of U.S. businesses.

As Simon properties begin to reopen, it will be up to retail tenants to decide whether or not to reopen their individual stores, according to the CNBC report.

Simon is known for its upscale shopping venues and houses big-name tenants including Macy’s, Victoria’s Secret, Bloomingdale’s and Forever 21.

Select locations, including Lenox Square in Atlanta and the Houston Galleria in Texas, will be open for business with some added precautions.

The locations will operate with limited hours from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday to allow time for overnight cleaning, according to the memo.

Other cleaning measures include sanitizing frequently touched areas, like food court tables, escalators, doorknobs and electronic directories.

Retailers are encouraged to adopt the same measures in their stores and provide access to contactless payment methods, like Apple Pay.

Employees will be required to wear masks while working and take breaks for handwashing, as per the memo.

As for mall shoppers, they will be encouraged, but not required, to take their temperature before arriving. Free temperature testing using infrared thermometers will be available to customers at the locations.

Shoppers also will be encouraged to wear a face covering of some kind while shopping and, upon request, will be provided masks and hand sanitizer free of charge.

Simon’s shopping centers will encourage social distancing through a number of precautions including blocking access to every other sink and urinal in restrooms, using decals to direct traffic flow, limiting seating at food courts, and keeping play areas and drinking fountains closed off.

Using traffic-measuring technology, the locations will limit occupancy to one person per 50 square feet of space, as well as limit the number of entrances to each property.
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Officials tasked with deciding when to reopen businesses are facing a dilemma, struggling to maintain the balance between protecting people’s health and restarting the economy.

Small gatherings have formed throughout the country with protesters demanding officials reopen businesses, but many Americans are wary of lifting social distancing guidelines too soon.

In a 5,000-person survey by The Pew Research Center, 66 percent of respondents said they were more worried about state government lifting restrictions on public activity too quickly rather than not quickly enough.

Health officials have warned that if the economy is reopened without adequate testing and other safeguards in place, the virus could spread even further, put a strain on the health system, lead to more deaths and result in further economic damage.

At a press conference last week, World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus cautioned that “the way down could be as deadly as the way up if not managed correctly.”

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