Costco, Target to limit customer numbers in response to COVID-19

The retail giants are seeking to maintain social distancing in stores.
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Costco and Target are tightening store rules to help keep shoppers safe during the COVID-19 crisis. 

The two retail giants announced the latest stage in their efforts to protect staff and customers from the novel coronavirus.

Beginning Friday, each  membership card will only get two people into Costco at the same time. 

Previously, one membership card could get your entire family into the warehouse, but the temporary change is being made "for your safety and the safety of our employees and other members."

Costco issued a release saying the new rule will "further assist with our social distancing efforts."

Some Costco locations have already implemented rules that limit the numbers of shoppers inside the store at the same time. For example, the Costco in Eden Prairie wasn't allowing more than 150 customers in the warehouse at any point last weekend. 

Also, until further notice, Costco is open solely for members ages 60 and older from 8-9 a.m. Tuesday through Thursday.

Target to 'meter' customer entries 

Target, meanwhile, has said that it will be keeping a track of and "when needed, meter guest traffic" in its nearly 1,900 stores nationwide.

That could potentially see shoppers going to busier Targets having to wait outside until others leave.

"Occupancy limits will vary by location and be determined by the store’s specific square footage to enhance the average space per person and reduce the possibility of congestion," Target said.

Furthermore, Target has announced it'll be providing its 350,000 employees with face masks and gloves to wear at work.

The Minneapolis retail has already implemented a more intense cleaning regimen at its stores, and installed sneeze guards to protect staff members at checkouts.

"We’re incredibly proud of the commitment our more than 350,000 frontline team members have demonstrated to ensure millions of guests can count on Target, and we’ll continue to focus our efforts on supporting them," said John Mulligan, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Target.

"The measures we’re announcing today are aimed at ensuring we are creating a safe environment for the guests who continue to turn to Target, while also providing our team with additional resources as they fulfill an essential service in communities across the country."

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