Costco to end COVID hours for seniors, disabled customers: Here’s when

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Hundreds of people line up to enter a Costco location in California in March 2020. Nearly 16 months later, Costco is announcing an end to one of its coronavirus-prompted policies that allowed seniors and disabled customers to shop during special operating hours. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

(NEXSTAR) – Attention, shoppers: Costco will soon be ending one of its pandemic-era policies.

In a recent update to its Coronavirus Response policy page, Costco quietly announced the end of its senior and special operating hours for customers 60 and over, and for those with disabilities.

“Effective July 26, 2021, Senior Operating Hours will end and Costco warehouses will resume regular operating hours,” reads the update. “Until July 26, Costco warehouses in the U.S. and Puerto Rico are open for Special Operating Hours from 9 to 10 a.m., Monday through Friday.”

Costco noted that those hours may vary depending on location, with some locations in California and Hawaii hosting senior and special operating hours at different times or days through July 26.

Costco first enacted the policy on March 24, less than two weeks after the World Health Organization officially declared the coronavirus outbreak to be a global pandemic. At the time, Costco’s special operating hours were only planned for Tuesdays and Thursdays at most locations. It was later expanded to all weekday mornings.

The special operating hours were not only reserved for senior customers or those with disabilities, but also for immunocompromised individuals, health care workers and first responders. The latter — health care workers and first responders — were also given priority access, allowing them to move to the front of the line after showing a valid ID.

These policies were accompanied by a number of other new health and safety protocol, including mask mandates, the closure of food courts, and the discontinuation of free samples. These policies, too, have also been scaled back in recent months amid decreasing COVID-19 cases across the country, although mask mandates remain where required by state or local jurisdictions.

Costco’s special operating hours will remain in effect through July 25 at warehouse locations in the United States and Puerto Rico.

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