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“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 website said under its “Updated Guest Shopping Policy” section.
Previous updates to the store’s policies have included limiting the menu at Costco food courts, which were restricted to take-out only, and restricting returns for certain items and changing the company’s hours of operation.
On March 30, Costco started closing all United States clubs at 6:30 p.m. and all gas stations at 7 p.m. from Monday through Friday.
The company said at the time that it would operate its clubs and gas stations for normal hours on the weekends.
Many other retailers have similarly reduced their hours to give employees more time to sanitize and restock shelves before the store opens to shoppers the following day.
Shoppers wait to enter a Costco warehouse Saturday, March 14, 2020, in Santa Clarita, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Costco also said earlier this month that it would no longer allow customers to return certain products including toilet paper, bottled water, sanitizing wipes, paper towels, rice and disinfecting spray.
The membership-based wholesaler also instituted special operating hours for customers who are at least 60 years old.
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From 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, Costco will be open for older members or for members with “physical impairments,” the company said on its website. That includes the pharmacy, but not the food court.