As many shopping malls around the world begin reopening, more and more people have also been going outside to do non-essential shopping. While many retail establishments have likewise implemented health and safety guidelines in order to meet safety standards, the consumer still has a responsibility to keep themselves safe.


If you’re one of the many people who are looking to start visiting malls, retail centers, and other places for leisure purposes, you should always make it a point to do these activities safely. This is because you’re not only looking to keep yourself safe, but also everyone around you. Coupled with wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, and sanitizing yourself, listed below are the following shopping tips that you should follow during a pandemic.


Always Wear a Mask


You already know that COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through direct and indirect contact with an infected individual. The mask is your first defense against these, as it can prevent miniscule and non-visible droplets from entering your respiratory system, as you’re walking in a public space.


Keeping this in mind, you should never fail to wear a mask — and a face shield, if necessary — wherever you go inside a mall. There are many establishments that mandate that customers wear masks and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) before they can even enter the premises.


While your temperature may also be screened at the same time, you can’t really be too sure that you won’t be in the company of asymptomatic individuals inside the mall, so it’s important to wear your mask at all times.


Practice Social Distancing


As mentioned before, any shopping mall you go to will likely have implemented social distancing measures. You’ll find several features like single-exit areas, floor markers, or even barriers. Even if these measures are already put in place, this doesn’t mean that you don’t have to practice social distancing.


It’s your responsibility to also follow these social distancing measures, while also ensuring that you’re following your own standards. As much as possible, you’d want to stay at least 6 feet away from other people when walking. You should also avoid counter flowing so that you won’t make physical contact with others.


If you’re entering a small space, try to wait it out and see if people will leave. Shopping mall stores will usually advise on the limited capacity, so you should also be guided by this.


Constantly Sanitize Yourself


When you leave your house, it’s a must that you always bring any sanitizing material with you. You should dedicate a small bag that contains hand sanitizers, alcohol in a spray bottle, tissues, wet wipes, or anything that can help you clean your hands.


Think about it: Let’s say you’re walking inside a clothing store. It’s inevitable that you’ll be touching garments and other clothing material. Even though they might be disinfected by the store management, you still need to take the extra precaution of sanitizing yourself after touching these high-touch surfaces.


Even if you’re not visiting a clothing shop, you’ll also end up touching door handles, chairs, railings, or sitting down in public spaces. Applying alcohol on your hands and preventing yourself from touching your face is an effective way of still keeping yourself safe despite these situations.


Make a List Beforehand


Not all malls will be operating in full capacity during the pandemic. In some cases, it’s also possible that the management will allow only a few people to enter inside the location. As much as possible, you should also do your part by making sure you don’t wander around aimlessly inside the mall. This can be done by making a shopping list beforehand that contains all the essential items that you’ll be buying.


In your list, you’ll want to prioritize the most important products like food, cleaning implements, and other basic necessities you can think of — this is, if you’re also going to the grocery. But if you won’t be grocery shopping, try to have an idea of what things you’ll be buying. This is for you to avoid spending much more time than you need to, inside the mall.


Don’t Visit a Lot of Stores


Coupled with making a shopping list, you should make it a habit to visit only a few stores inside the mall. This may be a good time to do window shopping, instead of the usual activity of entering a store, checking out the products, and walking away without purchasing anything.


Visit only the stores that you really need to buy something from. For example, if you want to buy new clothes, try to go for larger spaces like department stores. Avoid shops that sell pre-loved clothes or any pre-loved items for sanitary reasons.


If you’re buying electronic goods, it’s best that you don’t have it tested out by the store owner. Instead, ensure that there is a warranty guarantee for that product, in any case that it doesn’t work when you use the product at home. This is for the purposes of limiting any physical contact between you and any retail worker/shopkeeper.


Key Takeaway


Going to shopping malls during the pandemic may already be possible, but this doesn’t mean that you can already be complacent about your health. Like many public spaces, malls could be hotspots for COVID-19 infections. Being equipped with all the materials needed to keep yourself safe inside this type of establishment should be a priority.


Follow simple tips like wearing a mask at all times, following social distancing, sanitizing yourself constantly, or even visiting only a few shops inside the mall can already help your pandemic shopping experience much safer. While the ideal is that you don’t do any leisure activities, taking note of these safety precautions above is the next most effective solution.