Updated: June 11, 2021 8:15:30 am
Over the past month, malls and shopping centres in Delhi and Gurgaon have held two-three vaccination drives to ensure staff and security personnel get the shot. Some malls, meanwhile, have made it mandatory for all staffers to produce a vaccination certificate for entry into the mall.
This week, malls and shopping centres were permitted to reopen in the two cities and have reported good footfall. While shops are running on an odd-even basis in Delhi, all stores in Gurgaon malls are open and restaurants can operate at 50% capacity.
Officials said each mall has seen a footfall of at least 25,000-30,000 people on weekends, with many customers shopping at retail stores.
At Ambience Mall in Gurgaon and Delhi, over five vaccination drives have been conducted since April for mall staffers and tenant staffers.
An official from Ambience Mall said, “We reopened the Gurgaon mall on May 31 and the Vasant Kunj mall on June 7. Most of our shops are now open for customers. We have restaurants that are operating on 50% occupancy in Gurgaon. Over 250 stores are open with 500 staffers vaccinated. We weren’t expecting a high footfall due to the pandemic but we are happy with the footfall. People are now shopping at the stores and trade is good.”
The DLF group, which has six malls in Delhi, Gurgaon, and Noida, has vaccinated most of its staffers and retail associates in Delhi and Gurgaon. The Noida mall, however, is still shut.
DLF CyberHub, which houses several high-end restaurants, reopened on May 31, with all stores and dine-in restaurants allowed to operate.
Pushpa Bector, Executive Director, DLF Retail group, said their company made sure everyone including mall staff, agency staff, retail staff, and tenant staffers are vaccinated. For everyone who is vaccinated, mall owners give them ‘badges’ saying: “I’m vaccinated, I’m safe and I’m ready to serve you”.
The vaccination drive started two-three weeks ago and Bector claimed 100% of the staff has been vaccinated. “The stores were reopened easily. Restaurants took a bit of a time as many staffers migrated to their villages and employers are calling them back. In the last few days, 10 dine-in restaurants reopened and eight of the large retail stores are also open now. In Delhi malls, the restaurants are open but we are allowing only take-away,” she told The Indian Express.
To maintain social distancing and follow Covid norms, all malls have live footfall trackers, temperature guns, and sensors to ensure the safety of customers as well as staff. Large gatherings are avoided and security personnel only allow entry to those who have the Aarogya Setu app on their phone.
At MGF Metropolitan Mall in Gurgaon, mall officials said staffers were told to get vaccinated and most of them have received the first dose. “Initially, few of our stores and restaurants weren’t reopened because their staffers weren’t in the city. Big retail stores are allowed to have three people while small stores can run with two staffers. We are calling fewer people for work to ensure safety. Now, all our 250 stores are open,” said a mall official.
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