South Coast Plaza welcomes back in-store shoppers after being closed for months during pandemic

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South Coast Plaza reopened more than 100 stores on Thursday to shoppers with safety measures in place to combat the spread of germs after being closed for several months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

South Coast Plaza, located at 3333 Bristol Street in Costa Mesa, had been closed since March 16. The retail center began offering curbside pickup from select stores on May 15, and had hoped to reopen on June 1 but local protests following the death of George Floyd kept it closed.

Several high-end boutiques and department stores including Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom and Apple finally welcomed back shoppers on Thursday morning. Zara and Louis Vuitton had lines shortly after reopening as stores were only allowing a certain number of customers inside the stores at a time.

The luxury shopping center has installed a state-of-the-art air treatment system and has improved its protocol for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces more frequently.

Shoppers and employees are required to wear face coverings and practice social distancing. Face coverings are also required in parking lots and will available for shoppers who do not have one. Several hand sanitizer pump stations have also be installed throughout the plaza.

“We have a new state-of-the-art air handling system, we’re bringing fresh air in from the outside as well. So not only is it very cool in this environment, it’s also very fresh and clean,” Debra Gunndowning, executive director of marketing at South Coast Plaza, told KTLA. “We are enforcing social distancing so you will also see the one-way flows in various corridors.”

Several amenities, including the children’s carousel, valet and wheelchair and stroller rental, will remain closed temporarily, Gunndowning said.

South Coast Plaza will be open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 7 p.m. On Monday and Saturday, vulnerable populations including seniors and those with underlying medical conditions will be able to shop from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

A list of reopened stores and restaurants can be found at southcoastplaza.com/reopen/shopping.

Curbside pickup also remains in place.

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