After two months of waiting, shoppers returned to one of South Florida’s biggest malls on Wednesday - but in a much different way.
The Town Center at Boca Raton opened its doors at 11 a.m., though restricting entry to just two spots and monitoring to make sure the mall was filled to a maximum capacity of just 25 percent.
Mall officials will be making sure both individual stores and general areas are kept clean while requiring shoppers to wear masks when inside and keep social distancing protocols as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The opening comes two days after Palm Beach County entered phase one of reopening from the state of Florida, allowing restaurants and shops to open provided they keep indoor capacity at 25 percent and all outside seating must be six feet apart.
Last week, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis lifted partially lifted his “safer at home” order, allowing restaurants and retail shops to begin operating around Florida. Excluded from the initial reopening plan were the three South Florida counties that have been the epicenter of the pandemic in the state.
But last Friday, DeSantis said Palm Beach County had been trending in the right, downward direction in terms of residents testing positive for the virus.