With President Trump’s three step program having been unveiled on April 16th, many companies are preparing to re-open. What changes are they making to keep their customers safe? This seems to be the question on everybody’s mind. Well, shortly after the announcement of the Three Step plan, we only knew of a few changes to traditional company procedure in re-opening locations. Here is a breakdown of a few such businesses:
Simon Property Group is the largest mall operator in the United States. They announced that they intend to reopen 49 of their malls in 10 states this coming week. An article from The New York Times states that the group “will actively remind and encourage shoppers to maintain a proper distance from others and to refrain from shopping with others in groups.” (nytimes.com) They plan to space out food court seating and, they will no longer provide reusable trays. Closing the children’s play areas and water fountains will be a few of the changes they are making to their malls. The group is planning on opening the majority of their malls in: Texas, Indiana, Georgia, and, Missouri. A main concern for many is if it will be safe to shop in the malls, with many trying on the clothes you may buy. Only time will tell if one of our favorite ‘hang out’ places will reopen for good.
JetBlue announced that, starting on May 4th, passengers are required to wear face coverings. The policy requires passengers to wear a covering that shields their nose and mouth for not only the flight itself but the check in, boarding and, departure from the airplane. During the press release from president and chief officer of JetBlue; Joanna Geraghty stated that “Wearing a face covering isn’t about protecting yourself, it’s about protecting those around you.” (boston.com) The airline industry has been hit hard by the pandemic with flights out of Boston’s own Logan Airport dropping. In a Boston travel article it stated that, pre-pandemic, 410,688 passengers departed Logan Airport weekly. But, since the pandemic, only 14,082 passengers have passed through the airport. Later in the article it was stated that JetBlue, Logan Airport’s largest carrier with it’s own terminal – terminal C – went from 165 departures a day to 28 a day; a massive decrease. Though this new policy may cause some outrage from customers it is intended to protect many.
The happiest place on earth; Walt Disney World has been closed since March 16th, the longest the park has ever been closed in history. Even so, the theme park still has no reopening in sight. In an interview with the press former Disney CEO and current executive chairman Bob Iger stated that “I don’t think we’re ever going to see a return to business as usual in the sense that, I can’t speak for all companies, but Disney will take this opportunity to look for ways to run our business more efficiently when we come back.” (post-gazette.com) A thoroughly discussed topic in my household because of our love for WDW are the potential changes we have seen other companies make that Disney World may adapt. According to the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force guidelines employees will be required to wear masks, and have their temperature taken before and after every shift. As of right now “Large theme parks under specific mandates, would operate at 50% capacity during phase one, and 75% during phase two.” (dfb.com) Magic Kingdom alone has an estimated capacity of 100,000 people whereas the other theme parks have an estimated capacity of 75,000 people. Under the first phase Walt Disney World could only have a total of 125,000 guests at a time where they used to be able to have over 250,000 guests. These guidelines among other will change not only WDW but how theme parks worldwide will be run.
As students, it is imperative that we remain informed as we approach summer, as more businesses begin to re-open their doors.