New Costco Requirement for All Shoppers Is Now in Effect

Costco shopper in a face mask
Photo by Mikel Dabbah /

Don’t forget your mask the next time you head to Costco.

The warehouse club chain is now requiring shoppers to wear a face covering — among other changes.

Craig Jelinek, president and CEO of Costco Wholesale Corp., explains in a statement to members:

“To help protect our employees and members, effective May 4, 2020, all Costco members and guests must wear a face covering that covers the mouth and nose, at all times while at Costco.”

Jelinek cited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest recommendation for Americans to wear a face covering when social distancing is difficult, such as at grocery stores and pharmacies.

The only groups exempt from Costco’s new rule are children under age 2 and people who are unable to wear a face covering due to a medical condition.

Other changes at Costco

Also effective May 4, most Costco warehouses and gas stations will return to their regular hours.

For your local Costco’s hours, look up the location using the Find a Warehouse tool.

Additionally, Costco is now offering special hours for shoppers age 60 and older on more days.

From 9 to 10 a.m. every weekday, warehouses will open exclusively for members who are in that age group or who have disabilities, groups considered at greater risk of the coronavirus. Costco pharmacies will be open during these time windows, but food courts will be closed.

Exceptions to the new senior shopping hours are for Costco locations in:

  • Massachusetts: Senior shopping hours 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. daily
  • Memphis, Tennessee: 8 to 9 a.m. on weekdays and 9 to 10 a.m. on Sundays
  • Oregon: 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. on weekdays
  • Westbury, New York: 7 to 9 a.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays

Social distancing rules remain in effect

Costco’s changes that took effect on May 4 are in addition to those that the retailer made in early April to enforce social distancing measures advised during the pandemic.

So, warehouses in the U.S. continue to limit the number of shoppers who may enter per membership card.

In most states, no more than two people may enter a store for each membership card. In Kentucky and Puerto Rico, the limit is one person per card.

Costco also continues to disallow returns of certain types of items, which include:

  • Toilet paper
  • Bottled water
  • Sanitizing wipes
  • Paper towels
  • Rice
  • Disinfecting spray

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