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Costco will require customers to wear face masks while shopping

The wholesaler had already required masks for employees and instituted occupancy limits.

In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while shopping, Costco is making masks mandatory for customers.

The wholesaler announced Wednesday that customers must cover their nose and mouth while shopping starting May 4. Like many other essential businesses still operating during the state of emergency, Costco already required employees to wear masks.

The Center of Disease Control and Prevention recommends wearing a face covering whenever in public spaces that present risk for transmission. Costco's new rule will not apply to children under 2 or those with medical conditions preventing them from wearing a mask.

“In short, we believe this is the right thing to do under the current circumstances. Although some may disagree with this policy or question its effectiveness, we’re choosing to err on the side of safety in our shopping environments," Costco President and CEO Craig Jelinek said in the announcement.

"Costco has continued to operate during this crisis as an essential business in all of our communities, and our employees are on the front lines."

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Costco had previously announced measures to protect customers and employees, including occupancy limits, reserved hours for older shoppers and only allowing two customers per membership card.

Target also announced occupancy limits and is providing employees masks and gloves. Masks are voluntary for Target shoppers.

Seven states, not including Minnesota, have made it mandatory for customers to wear masks when shopping at essential businesses, per CNN

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