Shop worry-free with redesigned malls and retail spaces December 5, 2020 | Source: EON
When the enhanced community quarantine was enforced this March, malls and other retail spaces were closed to help stem the tide of COVID-19 cases. This was a blow to the Filipino’s mall culture, which treats shopping centers as an all-in-one destination for bonding, dining, entertainment, and more.
As the country is now in a more relaxed quarantine, retailers have re-opened their doors to welcome guests again. At the same time, they have redesigned their spaces with safety protocols so Filipinos can go back to their favorite stores without having to worry about catching the virus.
Health and safety protocols
Malls under Megaworld, Filinvest, Ayala, Robinsons, and SM have gone the extra mile in sanitation and disinfection efforts to welcome their guests. Upon entry, customers are required to wear a face mask and undergo thermal scanning and foot baths.
Inside the premises, they are advised to practice social distancing at all times. To ensure that spaces are always clean, contactless alcohol and hand sanitizers are available around the malls for everyone to use.
Frequent and high-touch surfaces are regularly sanitized. A team periodically deep cleans door handles, elevator buttons, handrails, comfort rooms, and common areas. At Megaworld, escalator handrails are disinfected using UV light.
Mall operators also ensure the safety of their staff. Employees and frontliners, including janitors and security guards, undergo rapid testing. At Ayala Malls, a list of nearby hospitals is ready to assist customers displaying symptoms. SM Supermalls has deployed safety protocol officers to reinforce all health measures.
Dine-ins at restaurants and other similar establishments are now allowed, which encouraged malls to be creative in enforcing social distancing while fostering a welcoming atmosphere. Megaworld Lifestyle Malls, SM Supermalls, and Ayala Malls repurposed spaces so diners can eat alfresco or at atriums.
Fastfood chains have also stepped up their health and safety protocols to assure a worry-free dine-in experience. Apart from mandated measures, both McDonald’s and Jollibee have implemented additional protocols. High-touch areas like door handles, fixtures, and surfaces are cleaned every 30 minutes, while self-order kiosks are sanitized before and after use. At McDonald’s, customers are offered hand sanitizer every 30 minutes.
The store crew undergoes temperature checks to ensure their health. Additionally, McDonald’s encourages its employees to fill out a daily health check form and wash their hands every 30 minutes. Both McDonald’s and Jollibee have a designated person ensuring health and safety guidelines are strictly followed.
Meanwhile, other restaurants like Goldilocks stringently follow the guidelines enforced by the Inter-Agency Task Force.
Globe and Smart have reopened their stores to serve their subscribers. New and existing customers can apply and renew their postpaid plans, purchase prepaid products, pay their bills, and more. Both Globe and Smart regularly disinfect and sanitize their premises, and include drop boxes for contactless transactions. Moreover, all employees are required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE).
To encourage contactless transactions across retail spaces, many establishments offer cashless payments through GCash and PayMaya. These services reduce the risk of passing the virus by eliminating bills and coins.