The second phase of the reopen Saskatchewan plan, also known as reopen retail, will see many stores able to open their doors to customers once again.
During the preparation stage of the reopen, some locations are feeling hesitant with the start date.
“We have folks that can open up May 19 that are planning on opening up full force; we have others that are saying, ‘Hey, we are going to take another two weeks to kind of see what the lay of the land is,’” said Judith Veresuk, Regina Downtown Business Improvement District executive director.
Lesa Gibbons, Warehouse Business Improvement District executive director, said shops have been sharing ideas, and looking to stores that were allowed to open in the first phase for guidance.
“We have a lot who are reaching out and having those conversations — you know, ‘Are you having someone at your front door to monitor how many people are in the store? Are you having someone make sure people are using hand sanitizer at different points throughout your location?'” she said.
A big concern is not just what shopping will look like, but the access to personal protective equipment, and the price tag for those items.
“Its been a challenge and we are hoping to bridge some of that just by providing some welcome-back kits to have some of the essentials to help ease that stress as they look to reopen,” Gibbons said.
It’s a similar concern for malls like Regina’s Northgate Mall. Discussions of whether the mall, or each individual store will supply PPE are currently taking place.
With so many stores located in one space, Mitchell Cohen, Westdale Construction Co. Limited COO, which owns Northgate Mall, said at a time like this we cant be looking at the dollars and cents.
“We have to take care of each other, have to take care of our tenants, have to take care of our employees. So we are putting a lot of steps into place,” Cohen said.
Those steps include, shorter hours of operation, curb side pick up, and food courts being limited to pick up and take out only.
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.
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