Stop & Shop, hoping to limit coronavirus outbreak, announces special hours for customers over 60 years old

Stop & Shop is the latest grocery store chain to set aside special hours for customers over 60 in a bid to protect those most vulnerable to the coronavirus.

The grocer, which has more than 400 locations across Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island, announced that beginning Thursday, only customers in that age group will be allowed to shop in its stores between 6 a.m. and 7:30 a.m.

“We’re making the decision to offer this every day of the week to allow for community members in this age category to shop in a less crowded environment, which better enables social distancing,” the company’s president, Gordon Reid, said in a statement.

CLICK HERE FOR FULL CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE 

“Although we will not be requesting ID for entry, we ask that you please respect the purpose of the early opening – and do the right thing for your neighbors,” he added. “Store associates do reserve the right to ask customers to leave if they are not a member of this age group.”

The measure follows similar announcements by chains like Dollar General.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP 

"Dollar General is strongly encouraging that the first hour of operations each day be dedicated solely for the shopping needs of senior customers, who are one of the groups most vulnerable to the COVID-19 coronavirus," the company said Monday. "General wants to provide these at-risk customers with the ability to purchase the items they need and want at the beginning of each day to avoid busier and more crowded shopping periods."

Other customers will have to plan around this window. Store hours at chains like Stop & Shop and Dollar General also are being adjusted to protect employees, and allow them to clean and re-stock store shelves.

Fox News’ David Aaro contributed to this report.