Oviedo, Gran Plaza and La Frontera Mall are three malls opening in Medellín on Monday, May 25. This is a pilot for reopening the shopping malls in Medellín.

The three shopping malls opening up on May 25 are different types. One in a traditional mall, one is more a more a small strip mall and one is located in El Centro with many small tiendas (shops).

This shopping mall opening will enable testing different contexts and at the same time test technologies that will help enable Medellín to know if the city is prepared to open more shopping malls in the city.

Many of the malls in Medellín have remained partially open during the nationwide quarantine in Colombia, as grocery stores, pharmacies and banks are permitted to be open during the quarantine.

But the malls all follow pico y cedula restrictions when you can enter the malls based on the last digit of your ID. And the majority of the shops in the malls in Medellín have remained closed during the quarantine.

The three malls that are opening up on May 25, will be a more full-blown reopening of these malls and will permit most shops to open. But the food courts and restaurants will remain closed and are only permitted to offer domicilio (delivery) service.

The Oviedo mall in El Poblado in Medellín

The Oviedo mall in El Poblado in Medellín

More About the Three Shopping Malls Opening on Monday

Two of the shopping malls (Oviedo and La Frontera Mall) are located in comuna 14 (El Poblado). And Gran Plaza is located in comuna 10 (La Candelaria – aka El Centro) near Parque de Las Luces, in front of the La Alpujarra Administrative Center.

To achieve a controlled opening, new spaces have been arranged to take the temperature of employees and visitors, handwashing points have been increased and disinfection of the spaces will be carried out.

In addition, entry to the malls will be controlled to ensure a maximum capacity of 30 percent. So, they will track visitors and workers as they enter and leave.

Centro Comercial Oviedo is one of the largest malls in Medellín with about 320 shops. It’s also the oldest mall in the upscale neighborhood of El Poblado in Medellín.

New Technology Pilot to Track Customers as Part of Malls Opening

According to Medellín Mayor Daniel Quintero, the opening of three malls in Medellín includes a pilot of new technology to track customers.

Customers who wish to be part of the technology pilot in the three shopping malls must be registered in  MedellínMeCuida, install the CoronApp on your cell phone and activate bluetooth to enter the mall.

There will be alternatives if you do not have the app on your cell phone. But if you have the app, you will not have to register at the entrance of the shopping center and register at each store. Additionally, reportedly bluetooth will be used to track if an infected person was with you.

Privacy concerns with the technology have already appeared. For example, Esteban Hoyos Ceballos, a lawyer and professor of constitutional law at EAFIT University, answered Mayor Quintero with several questions:

What about those who do not have a phone / smart phone? Can’t they go to shopping malls? What are the rules that underlie this new extension and use of the platform? What decrees and acts? This looks disproportionate and may affect rights.

Gran Plaza mall in El Centro

Gran Plaza mall in El Centro

Gran Plaza is a mall in El Centro with about 130 shops but many of these shops are very small. And La Frontera Mall is a small strip mall in El Poblado with less than 40 shops.

May 25 is the Ascension Day Holiday in Colombia

Monday, May 25, when the three malls are opening is the Ascension Day holiday in Colombia.

Ascension Day is the celebration of Jesus rising into heaven after he had spent 40 days on earth after the resurrection. According to the New Testament, this took place before the eyes of his disciples. Ascension Day is the 40th day of Easter.

In Colombia, as with many other religious holidays, Ascension Day is celebrated on the Monday after the actual date.

Ascension Day is one 18 public holidays in Colombia. We have a separate guide to all the Colombian holidays.

Malls in Medellín

Malls in Medellín

Malls in Medellín

Paisas love to shop and Medellín and the Aburrá Valley has a huge number of centro comercials (shopping centers or malls).  We previously looked at the 14 best malls in Medellín.

Medellín has many more (seemingly countless) small centro comericals throughout the metro area that tend to only have small tiendas.

The following table includes details for each of the 14 best malls in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley, including the neighborhood (comuna or municipality) where the mall is located, approximately how many stores and the nearest metro station if the mall is conveniently located within about a five-minute walk from a metro station.

14 Best Malls in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley

14 Best Malls in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley

We also included the anchor grocery store, movie theater and gym (not every mall has all of these) and also other major stores for the best malls in the Medellín metro area.

The best malls in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley all have a big selection of shops, fast-food and restaurants plus movie theaters, gyms and grocery stores and more.

Centro Comercial Oviedo

Centro Comercial Oviedo

The Bottom Line: Three Shopping Malls Opening in Medellín on Monday, May 25

Tens of thousands of shops in Medellín have been closed during the quarantine in Medellín. And most of the shops in the malls in Medellín have been closed during the quarantine. The pilot of reopening of three malls is a start to reopening the shopping malls in Medellín.

We expect the malls will follow pico y cedula, which restricts the days you can shop based on the last digit of your ID. And there is a new schedule for pico y cedula starting on June 1.

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Editors note: updated on May 24, 2020 to add information about a technology pilot that will be used to track customers at the three malls reopening in Medellín.

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