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Costco Relaxes Coronavirus Shopping Policies

Retail giant loosens shopping restrictions. Has a return to normalcy started?

Costco has announced that they are starting to lift some shopping restrictions designed to keep both shoppers and staffers safe and healthy amid the coronavirus pandemic. While all shoppers are still required to wear masks, Costco is no longer limiting the number in a shopping party to just two individuals, and many locations are also opening up food courts that have been closed for weeks on end.

Costco received a lot of push-back for their mandatory mask requirement despite the policy designed to protect their staffers on the front lines. While health care workers and medical professionals have received the lion's share of praise for their essential work during the coronavirus outbreak, grocery store workers also have provided essential work and put their health at risk as well. Dozens of grocery store staffers have succumbed to the coronavirus, and even Walmart has faced a wrongful death lawsuit.

Costco food courts are currently open for carryout orders but are temporarily remaining closed during the first hour of shopping reserved for senior citizens and shoppers with disabilities.  Food Court offerings are still limited, however, though there are some reports that pizza is now by the slice instead of just whole pies.

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On May 4th the Seattle-based retail giant returned to regular shopping hours. Most locations typically open at 9 am on Monday through Friday, with the first hour reserved for elderly shoppers in many locations. Some locations have earlier hours or different days for seniors, including locations in Hawaii, Brooklyn, Massachusettes, Oregon, and Los Angeles, California.

As a nearly nation-wide lockdown begins to open up, many businesses look to find the right balance between staying safe and following the guidelines put forth by medical and public health experts alike. While shopping at Costco in a party greater than two seems may seem like a small thing, it is a step in the right direction!

Eat This, Not That! is constantly monitoring the latest food news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed (and answer your most urgent questions). Here are the precautions you should be taking at the grocery store, the foods you should have on hand, the meal delivery services and restaurant chains offering takeout you need to know about, and ways you can help support those in need. We will continue to update these as new information develops. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date.

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