Business

Costco rolls out updated store hours, social distancing measures

Reduced services, guest limits, and new closing times.

A shopper leaves as others line up to enter a Costco store, Friday, March 20, 2020, in Tacoma, Wash. AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

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Costco is rolling out new policies designed to keep customers and employees safe as the COVID-19 public health crisis escalates, the big-box retailer announced Wednesday.

The changes range from hours of operation, limits on guests, and reduced service in some departments.

“As many of you have noticed, we’ve experienced a surge of business during this time,” Craig Jelinek, Costco’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “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. We’ve also reduced some services.”

Here are the changes:

Guest limits

Beginning April 3, a limit of two people per membership card will be allowed to enter Costco’s warehouses, the company announced.

Hours of operation

Costco’s warehouses will now close at 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Costco gas stations will open daily at 7:30 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. on weekdays and 6:30 p.m. on weekends.

Special hours for those 60 and over

Costco announced its warehouses will open from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., Tuesday through Thursday, only for members ages 60 and older, and for those with physical impairments. During these hours, the pharmacy will be open, but the food court will be closed, the company said.

Department reductions

Costco has reduced services in some departments in an effort to limit personal contact and allow for social distancing. At some locations, the company said, there will be reduced — or no — service in the hearing aid, optical, floral, and jewelry departments.

Product limitations

The company announced it is placing limitations on certain products “to help ensure more members are able to purchase merchandise they want and need.”

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A full list of Costco’s updated polices can be found here.

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