SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Retail stores and malls across the state are tentatively scheduled to open their doors to shoppers again on Monday - with new guidelines in place.

Western Mass News spoke with one local store owner said they are following all state guidelines and will be ready to open if the green light is given next week.

"Social distancing signs to keep people social distancing [and] disinfecting hand sanitizers," said Sports Zone owner James Dent.

Stores and malls may look a little different next week as the Massachusetts phase two reopening plan is tentatively scheduled to begin on Monday; loosening the restrictions and allowing shoppers back inside stores.

"We’re looking forward to it because the malls are our livelihood and we think a good percentage of people are going to go out, but a good percentage of them are still going to stay in. We’re just glad that hopefully something will get started," Dent said.

According to state guidelines, stores will have to operate at a 40 percent capacity or eight people, including staff, per 1,000 square feet.

People must also wear masks, stay 6 feet apart, and all seating, food courts, play areas, and arcades will stay temporarily closed.

Dent told Western Mass News that the mall is planning on having three entrances to control the flow of people and he said the capacity regulations shouldn't be a problem.

"Normally you usually don’t have that many people in your store besides Christmas...unless you’re having some type of real big sale," Dent noted.

He also said as they await the official reopening date, his store is preparing to have their employees back at work.

"All of our employees, most of them have been longtime employees and they’re ready to come back," Dent said.

Governor Charlie Baker is expected to announce the official phase two reopening date on June 6 but is aiming for a June 8 start.

Copyright 2020 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.