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Costco will require all shoppers to wear face masks inside stores

Costco customers will have to wear a mask or face covering starting on May 4.
/ Source: TODAY

If you're planning to shop at Costco, you'll need to wear a mask starting next week.

The company announced on Wednesday that starting on May 4, all Costco shoppers must wear a mask or face covering "that covers the mouth and nose at all times" while in the store.

Entrance to large Costco warehouse superstore in Manassas, Virginia, USA
Costco has announced a new policy requiring customers to wear masks or face coverings in its stores. Getty Images stock

The new requirement does not apply to children under 2 or people unable to wear a mask due to a medical condition.

"The use of a mask or face covering should not be seen as a substitute for social distancing,'' the company wrote in the release. "Please continue to observe rules regarding appropriate distancing while on Costco premises."

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Costco is also allowing members to use reusable shopping bags as long as they pack the bags themselves unless the use of reusable bags is prohibited by local mandates.

The company is just the latest to change its policy to require masks. JetBlue Airways announced on Monday that starting May 4, it will require passengers to be wearing masks or face coverings. United and American Airlines have both announced that their flight attendants will be required to wear masks.

The updated changes come following guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in early April advising people to wear face coverings "in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain."

Like many large retailers and grocery chains, Costco has modified its policies a few times since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. It has limited only two people per membership card to enter the warehouse at one time, prevented returns on high-demand items like toilet paper, stopped serving its trademark free food samples, given priority access to health care workers and first responders and provided shopping times reserved for members who are 60 and over.

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