TEMPE, AZ — Arizona Mills, Phoenix Premium Outlets, and Tucson Premium Outlets are all expected to open within the next two weeks, marking nearly two months since all three shopping centers closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Phoenix Premium Outlets in Chandler and Tucson Premium Outlets in Marana will both reopen on Friday, May 8, Simon Properties Group announced on its website. Arizona Mills in Tempe is scheduled to reopen on Saturday, May 16.
Initial hours will be Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 6 p.m., according to Simon's website.
The openings come as several states, including Arizona, have begun to loosen their restrictions.
Gov. Ducey recently announced that retail stores could voluntarily reopen for carry-out, curbside pickup, and appointments on Monday, May 4. Beginning on May 8, retail stores can fully reopen as long as they follow CDC-recommended guidelines to prevent COVID-19, including limiting the number of people inside their stores and regularly cleaning popular areas.
Restaurants can reopen their dining rooms on Monday, May 11. However, the state's stay-at-home order does remain in effect through May 15.
Simon has also announced a number of changes as its malls reopen, all efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- Employees, vendors, and contractors will have to self-check themselves for fever or flu-like symptoms. Those with a temperature over 100.4 degrees or flu-like symptoms, will be asked to stay home or be sent home. Screenings will also take place at the malls before employees start work. Tenants have also been asked to follow the same protocols.
- Employees will wear masks while on the property, be encouraged to stay six feet from other employees or shoppers, and wash hands frequently.
- Customers will be encouraged to wear masks. CDC-approved masks and individual disinfectant wipes will be provided to customers if requested. Temperature checks will also be available.
- The amount of people allowed into Simon's malls or shopping centers will be reduced ("not to exceed 1 person per 50 square feet of space")
- The number of entrances may be reduced and queues will be used to manage traffic.
- Seating at food courts and in common areas will be reduced or moved to accommodate social distancing. Reusable items, such as trays and cups, will not be available.
- Play areas, stroller and valet stations, and drinking fountains will remain closed.
- Every other sink and urinal in bathrooms will be closed to encourage social distancing.
- Signs and floor decals will be used to encourage traffic flow around the mall.
- Every night, common areas will be sanitized. During the day, high-touch areas will be frequently cleaned, including restrooms, directories, door handles, escalators, trash bins, and tables and chairs.
It appears that it will be up to the individual stores to determine their safety protocols.