Costco to start requiring face masks for all shoppers

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Costco customers will be required to wear a face mask or facial covering while inside the store beginning next week, the company says.

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The warehouse chain, which has remained open during the COVID-19 crisis, confirmed in an update to their coronavirus response policy that customers must wear a covering of the “mouth and nose at all times while at Costco” effective Monday, May 4.

Though the face mask is mandatory for shoppers, Costco informed guests it is not a substitute for social distancing, and that customers should still maintain six feet apart while shopping.

Though the face mask is mandatory for shoppers, Costco informed guests it is not a substitute for social distancing, and that customers should still maintain six feet apart while shopping. (Qian Weizhong/Xinhua via Getty Images)

The move is an effort to “protect our members and employees,” the retailer said. However, this rule is not in effect for children under the age of 2, or for individuals who are unable to wear a face-covering due to a medical condition.

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Though the face mask is mandatory for shoppers, Costco informed guests that it is not a substitute for social distancing, and those who are shopping should still maintain the recommended six feet of distance from others while in the warehouse.

Beginning May 4, Costco added that all warehouses will be open from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. for members 60 and older, and for people with disabilities. Guests will not be allowed to accompany these members. The food court will also remain closed during this time, though it will be open for take-out in the later hours.

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Priority access is also temporarily available for health care workers and first responders with Costco memberships.

The updates are just the latest in Costco’s policy changes announced in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Previously, the company had announced shorter hours of operations. Costco is also limiting the amount of customers allowed in the store at any one time, as well as the amount of in-demand items customers can purchase.