As millions across the country continue to stock up on essential items, Costco is stepping up to keep shoppers safe during the pandemic by enacting new rules to limit crowding in its stores.
Starting Friday, April 3, “Costco will allow no more than two people to enter the warehouse with each membership card,” the company said in a statement.
“This temporary change is for your safety and the safety of our employees and other members, and to further assist with our social distancing efforts,” the statement continued.
Costco did not clarify whether the chain would permit exceptions for parents or caregivers shopping with multiple children.
Costco has put in place several new policies over the past few weeks to help the spread of the coronavirus. The warehouses in the U.S. have reduced operating hours and have also stopped allowing returns on some in-demand items, including toilet paper, paper towels and sanitizing wipes.
“As many of you have noticed, we’ve experienced a surge of business during this time,” Costco CEO Craig Jelinek said in an open letter to customers. “As a result, we’ve taken steps to control the number of members in our warehouses and asked that members and employees practice social distancing.
“While the circumstances continue to change and we modify our operations as necessary, we thank you for your patience and cooperation.”
Here are the 7 changes Costco has instrumented for customers:
Two per membership
Beginning on Friday, April 3, no more than two people per membership will be allowed in at a time.
U.S. Costco stores will close slightly earlier during the week. Stores will now close at 6:30 p.m., Monday – Friday. Saturday and Sunday hours will remain the same. Costco gas stations will open at 7:30 a.m. every day and will close at 7 p.m. on weekdays and 6:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Like other grocery stores have done, Costco has fallen in line with most grocery store chains and has set buying limits on items that are in high-demand.
On Tuesdays, Wednesday, and Thursdays, Costco members aged 60 and older will be able to shop from 8 a.m. – 9 a.m.
The food court will remain open, but is only open for takeout. All of the seating has been removed. The condiments have all been placed behind the counter.
Shoppers will not be allowed to return toilet paper, bottled water, sanitizing wipes, paper towels, rice, or disinfecting spray.
Some Costco stores have reduced or closed their hearing aid, optical, floral, and/or jewelry departments in an attempt to promote social distancing.