How will shopping for clothes and shows change in this ‘new normal’ everyone keeps talking about?
Malta will get a taste of this tomorrow when several retail stores, including fashion outlets, will be allowed to reopen after being closed to close their doors for the past six weeks.
Yet it won’t be business as usual and workers and clients alike will have to adapt to new rules intended to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Changing rooms will not be allowed so as to prevent infected people transmitting the virus indirectly via clothing items they would have tried on but decided not to purchase.
It will be up to shops to set their own policies, but Superintendent of Public Health Charmaine Gauci today suggested people could take their new clothes home with them, try them on there and return them if they don’t fit.
If clothes are returned, they will have to be quarantined for 72 hours, the maximum length of time the coronavirus can survive on a surface.
As for shoe stores, a spokesperson for the Health Ministry told Lovin Malta that customers will still be able to try on shoes inside the store but that they will have to wear overshoes to safeguard against direct contact with the product.
This is over and above the new health guidelines all shops will have to follow.
Stores must ensure everyone who enters the outlet is wearing a mask, place hand sanitisers outside their outlet and mark two-metre lines for people ot maintain social distancing while queuing.
Shops must also declare the maximum number of clients allowed outside their outlets, calculated out by permitting one client for every ten square metres of interior space. Shop owners will have a right to refuse entry to people who look sick.
Cover photo: Main photo: The Point Shopping Mall free of crowds, inset photo: Overshoes as sold on AliExpress