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Coronavirus: Westfield outlines reopening plan

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield has outlined plans for the reopening of its Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City shopping centres when the government lifts restrictions. 

Among other measures, the shopping centre owner will monitor the number of visitors, and implement socially distanced queuing systems and floor spacing. It will instroduce socially distanced parking and make car parks cashless. 

The plans have been informed by the opening of the group’s centres across Europe. 

Scott Parsons, regional managing director, UK and Italy, said: “Managing the health and safety element of reopening Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City is our biggest priority right now. I can confidently say that our robust plans not only meet all requirements outlined in the government guidelines but go above and beyond.

“The sheer scale of our centres puts us in a unique position where we can very safely manage the customer journey throughout the malls. As well as heightened hygiene measures across every touchpoint, we have the technology to monitor footfall and flows and ensure social distancing is practised, as well as the benefit of on-site security and guest services teams to carefully control the measures at all times.

“We don’t underestimate the importance of getting these measures right, not only to ensure everyone coming into our centres is safe, but that they also feel confident that their well-being is genuinely being considered at every point.”

He added that the centres would be ready to reopen as soon as the government allows. 

The landlord said it would welcome “additional support on a retailer rent support scheme”, as well as the extension of business rates holidays to vacant units from the government. 

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield’s senior management team and supervisory board have agreed to reduce their remuneration by 25% for the period during which the partial activity measures have been in place for their centres. 


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