Hernaldo Gutierrez, wearing a protective face mask, waits in line to receive free fruits and vegetables from produce vendors…
Hernaldo Gutierrez, wearing a protective face mask, waits in line to receive free fruits and vegetables in Quillicura, on the outskirts of Santiago, Chile, April 29, 2020.

Chile will begin opening malls to the public for the first time on Friday, three months after imposing a nationwide lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic.

People going to malls must wear face masks, allow their temperature to be taken, and not gather in groups.

On Wednesday, Joaquin Lavin, the mayor of Las Condes municipality, began a measured approach to reopening, beginning with workers testing sanitary and safety protocols.

He said on Thursday they will bring in people to see how the measures work and close on Friday to evaluate what occurred.  Lavin said a decision to open up malls to the public will be based on the results of the trial opening.

When the malls open, social distancing is still required and stores will only permit a limited number of people inside the stores at one time.

Chile plans to reopen more than 100 malls over the coming weeks as it relaxes restrictions to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Also on Friday, jurisdictions viewed as being a moderate to low risk in spreading COVID-19 will be placed under a general community quarantine that is less restrictive.

So far, Chile has 14,885 COVID-19 cases and 216 virus-related deaths.  

Special Section