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Photograph: Courtesy Westfield World Trade

Indoor malls will be allowed to open in NYC next week

The shopping centers will operate at 50 percent capacity

By
Will Gleason
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Indoor malls in NYC have been given the ok to reopen next week, but don’t expect to head to the food court while you’re there. Indoor dining in the city is still being put on hold.

Governor Cuomo announced today that malls will be able to open with specific safety precautions in place, including requiring face masks, enforcing strict social distancing and having more staff on-hand to help with traffic flow. The indoor shopping hubs in the city can start welcoming visitors again beginning September 9 at 50 percent capacity.

Now, you may be asking yourself, “Wait a second. Why am I going to be able to go shop in a mall next week, but not eat inside a restaurant or go to a Broadway show?” Well, the short answer is because Andrew Cuomo said so. The longer answer is also that, but also that the state is requiring malls to have enhanced, high-quality air filtration systems as well as plans in place to achieve specific ventilation and air purification standards. (Oh, and also that it's specifically Mayor De Blasio's fault that you can't do those other things.)

"While this pandemic is far from over, our numbers have remained steadily low, so we know our phased, data-driven approach to reopening is the right one," Governor Cuomo said in a statement. "Thanks to the hard work of New Yorkers, we are at a point in our fight against this virus where we can safely reopen malls in New York City as long as they adhere to strict health and safety protocols. Masks, enhanced air ventilation systems, and social distancing will be mandatory. This is good news and the right step forward."

One of the city's high-profile malls, The Oculus, tells us they're now planning on reopening on September 9, but with modified hours: 11am–7pm Monday through Saturday and 12pm–6pm on Sunday.

“Westfield is excited to open our doors again to the Downtown Manhattan community as we continue to recover from the pandemic,” said Danielle Hascoe, Shopping Center Manager. “We are working closely with local officials and other relevant community groups to ensure a healthy, clean and safe environment for our customers, tenants and employees; and are committed to providing the best experience possible as our retailers begin to operate again at the center.”
The company says they're also working with select retailers at the mall to offer curbside pick-up as an option to let shoppers pick up their buys quickly and safely.

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