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Gov. Walz says malls will be allowed to re-open under 'Stay Safe Minnesota'

They'll be able to operate at 50 percent capacity.

Customer-facing businesses will be allowed to re-open at 50 percent capacity as soon as the current Stay at Home order expires on Monday, May 18. Among those retail businesses are stores inside Minnesota malls. 

Per one of the four executive orders issued by Walz on Wednesday, all non-critical, customer-facing businesses must first create a safety plan for workers and customers before re-opening. 

"This includes requirements that workers and customers must maintain physical distancing of 6 feet and that store occupancy must not exceed 50 percent of the normal occupant capacity as determined by the fire marshal.

"In customer facing businesses that share common areas, such as malls, all Plans must similarly include a facility occupancy that must not exceed 50 percent of the normal occupant capacity as determined by the fire marshal and provide an enhanced sanitizing, cleaning, and disinfecting regimen consistent with Minnesota OSHA Standards and MDH and CDC Guidelines for those common areas. All Plans must also include signage in common areas to discourage gathering."

"We're going to have to deal with the common areas, but these are retail stores. We don't want people hanging out in the food court and doing things, but those are retail places," said Walz. 

Simon Property Group, which owns malls in 38 states, including four in Minnesota, has already re-opened malls in states where stay-at-home orders have been lifted.

In those states, Simon has limited Monday-Saturday hours from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends, which allows for extensive overnight cleaning, according to USA Today

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Additional, the re-opened malls have featured less seating, directional signs and dividers to control cross traffic, along with free temperature testing. 

Simon Property Group runs the Southdale Center in Edina, outlet malls in Eagan and Albertville, and the Miller Hill Mall in Duluth. 

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