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Trader Joe's Just Got Rid Of This Long-Standing Pandemic Rule

Customers of all ages can now shop at almost any time.

When the coronavirus pandemic began in March 2020, many grocery stores implemented special shopping hours for seniors and those with compromised immune systems, Trader Joe's included. Now, over a year later, hundreds of the low-cost grocery store's locations have stopped offering the hour.

Originally, Trader Joe's set aside the first hour of each day for seniors 60 and older and customers with disabilities, according to USA Today. Then, it was reduced to twice a week (mostly Wednesday and Sunday) at a majority of stores. Now, it's only available at a select number of Trader Joe's locations.

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Trader Joe's senior hour

"We continue to offer senior hours in areas where it's mandated," Kenya Friend-Daniel, a Trader Joe's spokesperson, told USA Today. "Anyone in need of special accommodations can always speak to their store for assistance."

Special senior hours are only taking place statewide in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and at several stores in California. But, as more and more Americans get the COVID-19 vaccine, more rules like this one could end, the news outlet says. To find out if a location near you is still offering special shopping hours, visit the grocery store's website.

Trader Joe's is one of the first major grocery chains to ease a pandemic-era rule. Costco recently ended the limit on how much toilet paper you can buy, but kept it on other items. And back in March 2021, several grocery stores in Texas said they would follow the statewide policy and end mask mandates in stores for customers, while still requiring them for employees. However, H-E-B and Albertsons have since reversed their stances, and both say mask use will remain.

For information about what to get at Trader Joe's no matter the hour, here are 15 Trader Joe's Frozen Foods Recipes You Need to Try. And to get all the latest Trader Joe's news delivered right to your email inbox every day, sign up for our newsletter!

Amanda McDonald
Amanda has a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a bachelor's degree in digital journalism from Loyola University Chicago. Read more about Amanda