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The shops at Akropolis re-open: how will security be ensured?
After a 4-month forced break, all shops operating in Akropolis in Vilnius, Klaipėda and Šiauliai will open their doors to visitors on Monday (19 April). Some cafés and restaurants will serve only take-away food. During peak hours, almost twice as many security guards will work, medical masks will be distributed to visitors who do not have them, and the customer flows in each of the Akropolis shopping centers in Vilnius, Klaipėda and Šiauliai will be able to be checked online.
According to the Government’s instructions, all shops in the Akropolis shopping centers in Vilnius, Klaipėda and Šiauliai will be open only on weekdays, and on weekends only the shops selling basic necessities – food, veterinary goods, optical requirements, orthopaedic goods, pharmaceutical products will operate. Also open will be shops that have separate entrances fro outside. Shopping centers will resume work meeting all requirements, including the requirement for a larger area per customer.
Dominykas Mertinas, Head of the Communication Department of Akropolis Group, which manages the shopping centers, says that the break due to the COVID-19 pandemic allowed to even better prepare for assurance of safe shopping experience and a safe resumption of active work.
“We are looking at the situation responsibly and in order to contribute to the joint effort to manage the coronavirus pandemic, we are ready to work with maximum safety. With the help of technology and human resources, we feel sure about the safety of customers and employees, and we have no doubts about the effectiveness of the implemented measures”, says D. Mertinas. “We have missed our customers, but we continue to encourage our visitors to stay vigilant: to plan their purchases, to visit the shopping centers by one person and only when necessary”.
Shops in the Akropolis shopping centers will be reopening their doors following compulsory COVID-19 testing of employees returning to work after the break. This has been ordered for the retail sector by the Ministry of Health.
Modern technologies for flow management
In accordance with the requirements in force, the shops will continue to monitor the number of visitors in accordance with the planned minimum retail space per person and will ensure that no more people enter than are allowed. Some grocery and other essentials shops will be left with only as many carts and baskets as the maximum allowed number of clients in the particular shop.
The Sensormatic ShopperTrak traffic calculation systems used in the Akropolis shopping centers will help managers to monitor visitor flows, and a specially programmed Footfall Traffic Light will help visitors plan safer shopping. On the www.akropolis.lt website, all visitors can check the real-time information about the number of shoppers in each of the shopping centers.
Large shops operating in Akropolis, such as Maxima, Ermitažas, Topo centras, Zara and others, have their own security guards, but the number of security guards working in the common areas of the shopping center during peak hours will be almost doubled.
“Security guards will distribute medical masks to visitors who do not have them, and they will remind people of the need to keep safe distances, helping smaller shops to regulate client flows then needed. There are waiting places marked at a safe distance both at the entrances to shopping centers and at the entrances to individual shops: we encourage shoppers to follow them”, says D. Mertinas.
Great attention to disinfection
The number of rest areas and benches in the common areas of the Akropolis shopping centers, which were intended for visitors wanting to have a short rest, have been minimised. The aim is to limit possible contacts between strangers and to encourage the efficient use of time in the shopping center by allocating it to pre-planned shopping.
At least 4 times a day, the most frequently touched surfaces and sanitary facilities are being cleaned and disinfected, and the escalator handrails and the air in the elevator cabins are being constantly disinfected using ultraviolet ray equipment.
“Ventilation is constantly operating at full capacity, thus supplying the premises with the maximum amount of fresh air. For our part, we remind visitors of the need to properly wear face masks and actively use the disinfectant fluid that is available at each entrance, at the information center, near frequently touched surfaces areas and in each shop. Let’s not forget that security is determined by the efforts of all of us”, D. Mertinas reminds us.
In turn, the staff of the shopping centers will wear regularly changed medical masks or respirators, and the shopping centers, if necessary, will provide premises for regular testing of the staff, will constantly remind them through shopping center’s information channels of the rules of safe conduct, and will assist in disseminating other pandemic-related educational information.
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