Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield ready to re-open centres when covid-19 restrictions are lifted
Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield has said it is ready to re-open its shopping centres and comply with all covid-19 health and safety regulations as soon as lockdown restrictions are lifted.
It said health and safety measures could include limiting visitor numbers and introducing waiting lines, social distancing and hand sanitiser stations, as well as regular in-depth cleaning, the mandatory wearing of masks for staff and the use of fresh air instead of air recycling.
Most of its shopping centres around the world have been closed since 24 March, although those in Sweden and the Netherlands have remained open.
With a number of countries now taking steps to gradually lift the covid-19 restrictions, URW said most of its centres in France, Austria, Poland, the Czech Republic and Denmark are expected to re-open from early to mid-May while those in Spain will relaunch between 24 May and 3 June.
In Germany, most of the states have allowed shops spanning less than 800 square metres to open from 20 April and the majority of stores in six out of nine of the group’s centres in the country are now trading.
In the US, the re-opening of the URW’s shopping centres is expected to happen on a state-by-state basis.
URW said the coronavirus pandemic had a limited effect on its revenue in the first three months of 2020 as rents are billed and paid quarterly in advance in most of Europe and monthly in the US. However, the group is expecting there to be a greater impact in its second quarter.
Turnover in its first quarter increased by 1.8% to €956.6 million, mainly due to revenue coming in from property development and project management.
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