(The Hill) – After more than two years of holding special hours for shoppers over age 60 and other high-risk groups during the COVID-19 pandemic, Costco says it is ending the policy.
“As of April 18, 2022, Costco will no longer be offering special shopping hours for members ages 60 or older, healthcare workers and first responders,” the company said in an online update on Monday, noting that shoppers who were not comfortable with the change could shop online at Costco.com.
Costco will offer the designated hours for senior shoppers on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. at most store locations until April 17. Health care workers and other first responders such as police officers and firefighters will also be allowed to shop during the special hours.
Costco and many other grocery giants began holding special shopping hours at the start of the pandemic in March 2020 for people at higher risk of contracting the virus.
Costco’s decision comes as many other companies and industries have started to loosen its COVID-19 restrictions as case numbers decline across the country. While masking and vaccine requirements have been dropped in cities across the country, some industries have maintained their pandemic-related policies.
The Biden administration last week extended the federal mask mandate for all transportation networks, including airlines, until April 18.
That policy, which allows the Transportation Security Administration to fine passengers who refuse to wear a mask while traveling, was set to expire on March 18, but it has been extended several times throughout the pandemic.